Just twenty four hours after ordering it, the new chicken netting arrived. A new era of garden ownership had dawned. As I danced around the kitchen with glee, the chooks watched me from the garden in a huddle.
It took about twenty minutes to erect, and the whole time the girls watched me with curiosity. I nearly stood on Maeve and Mini several times, as they pecked experimentally at the netting poles. The bigger girls kept their distance, and plotted.
Once it was up, I put the girls on their side of the garden. They scratched about a bit, pecked the netting, and then pretty much ignored it. I sat on the bench watching them, and dreamed of having flower borders and being able to walk across the lawn bare foot without squelching in a curry poo. My day dreaming took me into a very happy place, and it was some time before I realised that Maude was sat at my feet, looking up at me.
I couldn't believe it. Ten minutes! That's all the time it took for my resident escape artist to breach the new, metre high barrier. Eyeing her sternly, I put her back over into the Convent's grounds. She clucked happily to the other hens, no doubt imparting her secret. At this point I realised that I hadn't got a chicken that could walk through things, terminator style. I'd forgotten to block off the greenhouse. With that done, the girls were fully enclosed. They went to bed happily, and so did I.
This morning, I let them out into their new exercise yard without any concerns about escapism. You can probably guess what happened next. I heard an almighty racket, and dashed out into the garden to find Maude stood in the middle of the lawn. She ruffled her feathers at me, bokked a bit, and then watched me to see what I would do. I unceremoniously dumped her back over the new chicken netting. She looked at me pityingly.
Twenty minutes later, she had taught Mini and Belinda to cross over, too. She's an evil genius chicken.
Someone has clearly forgotten to inform Maude that pekins can't fly.