My wee boy Leon often wakes in the morning and runs down to see if any of the hens have laid eggs. Being beginner hens, only one of the hens lays eggs daily, so Leon is often disappointed. Last weekend, Leon ran down to the hen house, with myself, his sister Mya and the dog tagging along after him. He opened the coop quickly, only to find Lola in the nesting box. The dog lunged at the box, and before you know it Lola was doing the cha-cha across the garden. It was like a Benny Hill chase on TV - a flapping hen, an hysterical little girl, a wee man roaring like a cave man, 'it's's not my fault, it's not my fault', and moi, in pj's and flip flops trying to capture Lola.
Note to self for chasing runaway hen
1. Lock the over excited dog in the house
2. Lock the hysterical children in the house
3. Do not wear flip flops
4. Consider your attire, should you intend crossing ditches, running through neighbours fields, jumping in nettles etc. This is an important consideration for two reasons
(a) Your neighbours may not want to see a grown woman in a pair of Betty Boop pj's
(b) You may just flitter your legs on aforementioned nettles, brambles, etc
5. Have a look in the mirror, to check for panda eyes from last nights make up. See (a) above
6. Have an action plan.
7. Do not direct the hen into the most overgrown part of the garden (you know the part that you always crop out of photographs, when you are pretending you have a perfect garden/life on Facebook)
8. Learn from you experience. When you give up on finding the hen in the undergrowth, only to spot her in the garden hours later, note 1-7 above (minus the pj's - you don't think I would wear them in the middle of the day, do you ?)
When Lola disappeared into the undergrowth for the second time, it wasn't looking good. I felt that if she started out overnight, poor Lola would surely be killed by a fox or a dog, in a bloody scene similar to Rico and Tony on the Copacabana. He consoled his sobbing sister saying, 'Mya, don't worry, is Lola is D-E-A-D, we can always buy another white hen and call her Lola. Little sister was not beyond consoling.
The children went to bed. A wee girl very upset that Lola would 'be lonely'. Wee man shouting out from his bed 'it wasn't my fault'.
The following morning, who landed home but the bold Lola ... In the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair, sitting there so refined ... Quickly and quietly Lola was caught and landed back into the coop. Her tattered wings and my tattered limbs have just about recovered. Not so sure about the neighbour though, after seeing the rare looking hen in the flip flops and Betty Boop pj's ...
* Copacabana (At the Copa) Barry Manilow