Last Sunday at the Farmers market I was telling friends Bruce and Shelly ofhannaberryfarm boyensberry farm about our new chickens and the told us they had too many and we could have had some of theirs. (we paid NZ$17 each). We thought nothing more about until the death of Bertha on Wedneday night.
I know Shelly through masters swimming at Flaxmere and the triathlon club and frquently see her at training. When I saw her Friday (when I had a fantastic swim- I started doing 50m and because I now have a propulsive kick my tumble turns were fantastic -I haven't done any in 2 years of re-learning to swim) I told her what had happened to Bertha and she said come round tomorrow and get one of theirs so we did.
We took a beautiful black chicken home, Bruce offered to clip some wing feathers to stop it flying, we declined the offer. We arrived home with the new Bertha and went to put her straight into the Henhouse Hilton with Choc Choc, Ethel and Daisy (the girls). I was just closing the door and paused for the children to stroke the new chicken and it was off out the door running as fast as it legs could carry it.
Teresa and I tried to round it up but of course it was scared and the inevitable happened it flew over into the neighbours with me in hot pursuit. I came back over the fence and went round to the neighbours properly. I had never met this neighbour before because the back of their quarter acre garden borders the side of ours and there are 2 houses on the corner. The neighbour came with me and tried to trap the bird but it was off again and we couldn't find it. We called it quits and went in for lunch and then had to go out to buy clothes for the children. I failed to mention that it was chucking it down with rain the whole time.
After we got back from shopping and a coffee I was busy making pizza and Teresa went to feed the girls and saw new Bertha happily pecking away in the same neighbours garden. We gave chase Teresa to the neighbours and me to get the bird netting from the veg garden. In 30minutes that wouldn't have appeared out of place in old slapstick comedy, involving several gardens. neighbours and a big dog the chicken ended back up in our garden more by luck than anything else.
I can hear your collective sigh of relief and mutterings of alls well that ends well but the story hasn't finished there is more...
After all calming down I decided to leave the chicken to peck around get the feel of the place and chat to the girls (chickens). She (new Bertha) seemed perfectly happy and I thought even if she doesn't go into the Henhouse Hilton she will roost in the garden ready for tomorrow. Just as I was getting complacent (it is around roosting time -dusk) she starts walking around the to the front of the house, I head round the front of the house birdnetting hand to stop her getting away. But it was just a ruse to get rid of me, by the time I had got round the back Teresa and I could only stare in disbelieve as new Bertha calmy walks back to the neighbours fence and with much clucking hopped over the fence.
All I could say was that hopefully the big dog the neighbours will be in the garden tomorrow and will scare it back into the garden. Teresa got extremely upset and when we realised she had put cheese on my part of the pizza she lost it. It took the combined cuteness of the children and myself to make her feel better.
I don't know what I am going to say to you Shelly but I hope you understand why I thrust a piece of paper at you with address of my blog on it.