Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Sheer Horror Of Skirts

Chickens are creatures of habit. They like to know what's likely to happen at any given time, and really don't appreciate surprises. Therefore, when I wandered down the garden yesterday wearing a long, flowing skirt, all hell broke loose.

The girls had accumalated in the greenhouse, beaks buried in Maeve's growers pellets. Spotting them from the kitchen, I decided to firmly show them the door. Being a warm spring day, I thought I'd wear my first skirt of the season. Strolling leisurely across the lawn, I couldn't have imagined what was about to kick off.

Maude spotted me first, and issued a low bok bok bok. This is chicken for 'Hang on, girls, something's up. That non feathered tall thing is on it's way down here to tell us off'. One by one, the others stood tall to peer at me through the glass. There was a gentle breeze, and they all began muttering as my skirt moved slightly. Sensing something was up, I slowed my advance and spoke reassuringly. That was the exact moment that a strong gust of wind blew the flowing material around my legs.

Mabel let out a blood curdling shriek. The greenhouse was suddenly filled with a vortex of feathers, beaks, shrieking and panic. Hens careered off the glass, crashing into each other and knocking trays of seedlings flying. After twenty seconds of them stampeding around the place, they all froze to get their breath back. We stood in a surreal tableau, chickens gasping and me holding my breath. Then the wind blew again and off they went, crashing into everything.

Sheepishly, I retreated with my terrifying skirt and let the dust settle. There was much chickenny muttering and feather rustling. In the end, I went and put on a pair of jeans.

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