Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wayward hens

“Daddy?” She called from her darkened room.

Yes? I said from the bottom of the stairs.

“I heard you come in the door and leave and come in again,” she said. “Is everything all right?”

I walked up to her. I was putting the chickens to bed, I explained, and I couldn’t find one of them -- I came back for the torch to light my way as I looked around. Not again, I thought, and I looked everywhere – under the coop, in the trees, all around the land in the darkness.

Finally, I said, I looked in the tool shed, and sitting there on the workbench, sleeping peacefully, was the prodigal chicken.

“Awww,” The Girl said. “Which one was it?”

It was P.S., I said – her name for one of the chickens we got later on.

“Is she safe now?” she asked.

She is, I said -- I gently grabbed the hen, walked her back to the coop and set her inside.

“Do you suppose she was wandering in the darkness, and thought it was the coop?” The Girl said.

Or she just wandered a short distance away and couldn’t figure out how to wander back, I said. They’re not rocket scientists, chickens.

“Do you know a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s eyes were actually bigger than its brain?” The Girl said. “They really were pea-brains!”

I didn't know that, I told her. I think birds really did evolve from them – we can see the resemblance. Now, I said, kissing her, go to sleep.

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