12. Mar, 2022

It's a hens life

In the early morning silence I sneak downstairs and into my tiny writing room in the hope that today, I will write! With a freshly brewed cup of sweet tea in my hands, I watch the sun rise. A huge part of me is saddened by things going on in our world. More suffering. More pain. More loss of lives. I dig my feet into an old pair of green wellies and step out into my world, a world so peaceful and untouched by cruelty. Or is it? And all the while, my old faithful is close at my heals.

‘Good morning girls!’ I smile as my multicoloured feathered friends spill out from their cosy wooden house, into their world of love and safety. All but one runs off excitedly, bobbing their heads as they go. They head for an old greenhouse on the other side of the yard and almost bounce into the makeshift dust bath my kind and unassuming husband has made for them.

‘Come along Midnight,’ I call softly. A wee black hen appears. She’s old, ancient, but full of life and character. She just isn’t a morning hen, a bit like my kind and unassuming husband on weekends. I pick her up and carry her down to the pond where in normal times, the others would usually be. The pond is full of frog spawn and tons of other wildlife. Snowdrops and daffodils colour its boarder and I smile. I am still holding my mug of sweet tea, it’s soothing. Close by is a willow tree, bearing its dull winter coat but home to a host of birds just waiting to be fed. Thankfully, this is outside the hen run.

Back at the yard, I feel like the pied piper but with a string of hens following me. They long for the gate to open, to be set free. To scratch around the pond and eat my precious frog spawn. They know the allotment is just around the corner plus the dark places where yummy small creature live. That’s their world, usually. But for the time being, they seem to have adjusted well, just as we humans must. Bird flu, covid lockdowns, isolation, and the worst of all, war!