Friday, 17 April 2009

Belinda Wreaks Vengeance

A broody Belind refuses to give up the nest for Maude and Doris.

Right, so the ebay eggs are on hold until we get back from our travels (yay!). Therefore, a broody Belinda will not get her chance to hatch her first clutch, which means we're still trying to persuade her that there is more to life than sitting in the dark cooing to yourself.

After what seems like weeks of rain, the sun came out today. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I stripped the coop down to give it a good scrub and disinfect. This always unsettles the hens, who understandably take exception to someone taking their home to bits, making it smell like flowers and disposing of their favourite chickenny smells. Doris was her usual vocal self. The entire neighbourhood was treated to the gobby madam ranting at the cheek.

Belinda sat on the grass where I'd plonked her, and glared at me. She issued a low growl whenever any of the other hens ventured too close, which earned her a 'Oi! Remember who you're growling at!' type peck on the head from top hen Mabel. It was quite disconcerting to feel Belinda's evil eye boring into my back while I crawled about in the run scraping poo (yes, my life really is this glamorous!). After about twenty minutes, she stood up, shook herself, and sauntered off down towards the greenhouse. Pleased that she'd given up her vigil, I carried on battling with easibed and wood shavings.

As I began reassembling the Convent, I heard an odd noise. The other girls had also heard it, and were stood with their heads cocked to one side, listening. Thump. Hmmm. I counted four big girls, and one little Maeve dotted about the human garden (so much for the fencing). Thump. It sounded rather a lot like earth hitting glass. Odd. Thump. After extracting myself from the hen run, I walked up the garden, looking for the missing Belinda. Thump.

The sound I had heard was indeed earth hitting glass. In fact, attached to the earth hitting the glass were some young tomato seedlings. Belinda was systematically pulling seedlings from a tray on my greenhouse staging, and launching them against the lower panes. She froze, seedling in beak, when she saw me stood in the doorway. Human and chicken eyeballed each other for several seconds, before the stroppy hen spat out the current seedling and attempted to move on to my sunflowers. Grasping her firmly with both hands, I removed the chav chicken and frog marched her back to the chicken garden. The hormonal vandal let out a blood curdling shriek which set all the others off bokking and running around in a panic. Plonking her none too delicately back in the Convent's grounds, I gave her a stern look. Regally, she sashayed back up the ramp into the coop, pausing only to throw me a look of disdain before disappearing into the darkness.

I never knew that chickens were capable of such vindictiveness.

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