The curious hen!
Hello reader, you might have read the story of Featherpin, further down the line. She was the one I ran back and rescued from the battery farm just as they were about to close the door and kill 300,000 hens. She was the one who had ‘given up’ and lay down, all bloodied, on the iron bars. Her eyes were closed and no movement did she make. Had Sandwich (another meatless hen) not brought my attention to her, I too would have thought she was dead and left her there. But as the story went, I saw Featherpin and placed her inside my jacket. Together, along with a car full of scrawny, featherless hens, I took them to our home for waifs and strays.
Well that was about seven years ago now, and although I don’t want to give the wonderful, magical, in-between years away, as it's in a book I'm working on, I can tell you a little about what is happening now.
Featherpin, the weakest of all those rescued hens, has outlived them all.
Oh yes, she has a tale to tell, a very special tale, but it is I who will have to tell it, for time has caught up with her and she’s taken to her bed.
It is quite funny in a strange sort of way and terribly sad in another that she has got us just where she wants us and we wait on her hand and foot, as they say! She sits in her very cosy nest while we feed her all the luxuries a hen could wish for. It is a good way to disguise any medicines she needs. Then perhaps, she will take a wee stroll around the inside pen, the one that is slightly heated for the purpose of elderly ladies such as her ladyship!
But we owe her this at the very least. She has brought us so much joy over the past, however many years and supplied us with endless, tasty eggs, rich in colour and rich in taste. We have laughed so many times at her antics and there is no doubt we have cried equally as much, especially in those harrowing weeks after her rescue.
So what has helped her live so long? I’m not quite sure but she is a very curious little hen and has overcome enormous difficulties in the beginning. She looked death in the face and although she didn’t know that sunshine and freedom awaited her outside her cell, her tiny heart kept beating, I felt it later, when I carried her to safety inside my jacket. She wanted to live and I willed her to live and I still do......until the moment comes and I have to let her go.