Speedy, agile and totally unprepared to surrender!
For the past few weeks there have been suspicious goings on within the flock! Furtive sideways glances when we approached their penned enclosure. One hen would be standing innocently watching for our appearance in the garden, she would then cluck in a particular manner and the other four would appear, covered in soil, whistling the theme from a famous movie starring Steve McQueen as an American POW.
It came as no surprise, therefore, when I received a text whilst at work from the SIPB (slightly insane papillon breeder) I am married to. It informed me she was off to work and one of the hens was missing!
I finished work within the hour and rode home. Whilst parking the bike on the driveway, prior to garaging it for the night, I removed my crash helmet and instantly spotted a hint of movement and two beady little eyes peering at me from next door's garden! Okay, no problem, just hop over the fence, retrieve the chicken and return her to her sisters in the pen!
Fifteen minutes later, my neighbour returned to find a middle-aged, scarlet faced, breathless, leather clad apparition, cursing foul (fowl) threats at a perfectly composed hen, who was trotting along (do hens trot?) just out of reach whilst shrieks of chicken laughter floated over from our garden. No doubt her sisters were cheering her on! Naturally at this point the escapee became totally docile and allowed me to scoop her up while our neighbour looked on with a slightly nervous smile which told me she was considering calling the police if only she could work out what infraction of the law was being committed! I don't blame her as I did resemble an exhausted extra from a leather bondage movie! (not that I have seen one of course). I summoned what dignity I had left and, with chicken clasped under my arm, took my leave via the garden fence.
Thick protective leather and big boots. Ideal clothing for chasing a hen...........NOT!