Last weekend, we went on our first ever camping trip. Jolly nice it was, too. Unfortunately, it peed down on the morning we were leaving, and we had to bring the tent home wet. Yesterday, as the sun was shining, we laid the fly sheet out on the back lawn. The girls watched us from the shrubbery, bokking amongst themselves about this new and unusual development.
They were obviously unsure about this new surface to the lawn, and skirted around the borders to avoid it. Even the fearless ASBO chicken, Maeve, didn't get too close. We were quite pleased about this, as I didn't relish the prospect of cleaning chicken poo off of our new canvas. They slunk away to bed, still muttering and eyeing the interloper with suspicion.
The tent is currently still laying out on the lawn, as there is no way that I will get it packed away without the ever tolerant husband's help. The chooks emerged from the Convent after breakfast, scratched about a bit, and then kept a respectful distance. All was well. Until, that is, the wind picked up.
At first, the fly sheet just inflated slightly, before deflating slowly. The hens froze. They remained as statuary for several minutes, before gradually resuming mooching duties. This happened several times, and the girls soon grew bored of waiting to be devoured, and decided to ignore it. Then one corner flipped back.
This caused a bit more consternation, and the girls alarm called to each other. Suddenly, a large gust of wind folded the tent in half. Chickens can, apparently, scream. There followed a mass bundle into the Convent, with no regard for manners. Flock mate stood on flock mate, and it was every chicken for herself. I ran out to tether the tent back down and to try and calm down the shrieking ladies.
It took several handful's of corn and much gentle cooing to persuade them to come out again. As they stuffed their crop's with cereal, they kept one wary eye on the chicken eating tent.
Even Maeve declined to take it on.