Fowl story

28th April 2022. Route 22 Cambridge

A chill wind still glazes the bird baths at night, even as the world slows wakes.

This is Spring the way I like it, advancing in baby steps.

Last year’s corn stalks give definition to an empty field.

Everything is fresh. The sky seems painted.

Just as well our vet is close…

“Remind me to bring Penny’s specimen!” said Grant


“I asked you to remind me!” he said, later…

Leaving Blackie to get her stitches out, we shot home.

It was hardly necessary to rush, but we made it round trip in record time. I felt quite dizzy.

“Didn’t we just see you?” said the wild turkeys as we sailed past for the third time.

It’s a short but rather nice drive. There are remnants of a once more affluent time. Gates to an old estate?


Grant went outside late yesterday to take down the suet feeders and I heard him exclaim: “Oh! Hello!”

It’s what he normally says when His Nibbs stops by, but the tone of voice held an extra exclamation mark, so I got up to see who it was:

A dark red derriere presented itself.

Our neighbor up the hill has chickens, so I texted her while Grant went out to round up the stray hen.

When no answer came, Grant said “Well call her.”

Reluctantly, I did and minutes later a farm vehicle appeared. The escapee was tucked under an arm and our neighbor sped back up the hill to check their coop.

In fact the chicken belonged on the farm which is some half a mile away, up there behind those trees.

In my mind I am trying to visualise the hen pecking her way leisurely all the way over here without being noticed by a person, or a hawk….

Just as well Grant went outside when he did because soon it was dark.

Looking at the image from our trailcam, I thought this seemed large for a fox but I believe Grant is right in saying this is not a coyote.

Whatever the case, Mme La Poule would have been in jeopardy after dark, so I’m glad her path led her to our door at the right moment.

This very minor event caused me to realize the extent to which have have withdrawn into my protective shell.

Working at JFK, I spent most of my day in communication with other people, by phone or radio. Even then, though, I disliked the telephone and social functions made me very anxious.

Now, although I manage well enough when I need to, the sight of an unknown vehicle in my driveway sends me to hide.

The absurdity of this came home to me one day when I heard a car approaching and prepared to call Grant to deal with whoever it was.

It turned out to be Grant himself. He’d gone to the Post Office while I was in another room.

As we get older, I think we often begin to see our parents reflected back at us in familiar mannerisms or even physical features.

My father intensely disliked social functions and he did not like dealing with strangers at all.

Mostly he just refused, to the point of being rude.

My parents owned a small apartment complex in Barbados. Their own place was adjacent and being in the tropics, the door was open all day.

My mother was always known by her maiden name. She was in the kitchen getting dinner one evening when one of the tenants came to the door:

“Willis!” called my father “Someone!

It still makes me smile, but Mum was not amused. It was always a bit “Fawlty Towers!” Not that Mum was anything like Sybil Fawlty, but there were often entertaining interludes. Including, strangely enough, a stray chicken.

Extract from Dad’s 1979 cartoon of Bork

The chicken that sunbathed with me.

Addendum: This may have been a foul story, but I intended to call it “Fowl story”!

5 thoughts on “Fowl story

  1. Ollie would have chased that chicken, but I wouldn’t have let him kill it.
    (I am sure that is a fox on the camera. It looks just like one.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

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