― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons
** Lola the hen responded to Lucina's recent blog post about a runaway chick **
I didn't think that she would even give me the right to reply. Us hens don't get much opportunity to speak, let alone to write a blog. But that's modern technology for you.
I've been in Poppy Cottage just over a month now. I guess that it isn't the worse place to live. The accommodation is fine. Spacious and clean, if a little sparce on decor. A two star hotel in a city centre. You know, the ones with cheap soap and shampoo. The food is nutritious but repetitive. Okay, there are regular tit-bits thrown into the enclosure, but I sometimes I get the munchies and have a fierce craving for a big juicy snail. With the hot weather, there's little chance of that. It appears that they have all gone underground (literally). We have a fair amount of freedom, but we are kept in this wire enclosure. Yer Wan would say that it is to save us from dogs and foxes, but truth be told, she doesn't want us shiteing on her doorstep or nibbling on her plants.
If MTV Cribs were to come here, I would want them to 'Pimp my Hen House' and give me something like this one below in the Camphill Communities in Kilcullen. It's smokin'
Yer Wan and the family bought myself and the other hens at a poultry sale in Kildare. They singled me out for my good looking white plumes and my fancy black tail. No one cared that I left my siblings behind though. I was just shoved in a box with a bunch of random hens that they wanted a bit of variety. Humans are so shallow.
It was the Young Wan's idea to call me 'Lola'. I was horrified. Despite my good looks from an early age, my mother, who was always keen on modesty and had called me Eileen. Of course when you hear 'Lola', you think of the Kinks song - where their Lola walked 'like a woman and talked like a man', or Barry Manilow's Lola, strutting her stuff on stage. Well like me tell you, I'm not that kinda chick. That flipping rooster Egward won't be fluffing my feathers either, if you know what I mean.
Yer Wan has notions. Fancies herself as a bit of a hippy chick. Loves composting and all that craic. Is a vegetarian and has the kids that way too. The way she goes on, you would think that she was one of the Ingles family from Little House on the Prairie, hop, skipping and jumping down to the chicken coop to collect eggs for the kids to make pancakes - to help them appreciate where food comes from and all that malarky. Us chooks fairly softened her cough with our stand off on laying. Every day they come down, her and the two young uns, standing there, cooing at us through the fence, willing us to lay. But we are holding off, having a silent protest as much as we can. The odd day, one of us can't bare the pressure, sneezes and out pops an egg. You would want to see the young lad when that happened. Thrilled with himself. You would swear that he laid it himself.
Getting back to the 'Great Escape'. It really was much ado about nothing, really. There I was, minding me own business, having a spot of breakfast in the chicken coop, then the young lad opened the door. Scare the bejaysus out of me and blinded me with sunlight. Next thing, the mutt bounds at me, delighted to have a go at me, without the wire fence between us. So I thought, 'g'luck, I'm outta here'. If they had stayed calm, I probably would have just come back quietly. But Yer Wan came bounding at me, wearing a pair of Betty Boop pjs and flip flops. The hack of her. A 40 years old hen dressed like a Spring chicken. Any wonder I ran off in a flap. I confess, I did have some satisfaction seeing her get flittered in the nettles and thistles. Off she went charging across ditches into the corn field, when all the time I was in the undergrowth in the garden.
I decided to go into the undergrowth, purely to grab myself a rare take away. Under the cover of the long grasses and the tall ditches, in hidden damp places was a feast of slugs, snails and whatever you fancied. I stuffed my face. Gorged myself. One crunch more sensational than the other. Bliss.
After another failed rescue attempt by Yer Wan, I spent a night out on my own. I started out feeling exhilarated - I really thought that I could make it on my own. But you know what ? I kinda missed the girls. We are a random bunch, but we kinda clicked/clucked when we met. I didn't put up much resistance to be caught the second time. I'm only a beginner hen and I'm still holding off laying eggs. It will make Yer Wan appreciate me all the more when I do. She isn't a bad old hen all the same.
And when she does get her hands on an egg, I hear that she makes damn fine pancakes. 'Course I don't eat the pancakes. That would be cannibalism ... obviously ....