I went out for dinner yesterday. If you're interested, I had a pasta dish. The eldest had spaghetti, which oddly, came with a random corn on the cob. The eldest doesn't like corn on the cob. The corn sat on the side of his plate, taunting me, for the whole meal. But I didn't want it. I don't think corn on the cob is a natural accompaniment to pasta, as it happens. However, I knew several someones who would very much enjoy that corn on the cob.
As the ever tolerant husband was busy sorting out the bill, I seized my chance. I casually picked up a napkin, gave a quick glance around the table to make sure I was unobserved, and went to grab the corn. Unfortunately, the waiter chose that exact moment to reach forward for the plate. He hesitated as I clutched my prize, and instead of simply ignoring the whole awkward situation, I blurted out for no apparent reason 'It's for Maeve. She's a chicken'. I actually felt the ever tolerant husband wither and shrink in to his chair.
When we got home, I triumphantly presented the corn to the inhabitants of the Palace. They had already retired for the evening, but the whiff of luke warm corn lured them back in to the run briefly. Chickens generally pig out before bedtime, so they had already filled their crops with pellets. After several gluttonous pecks, they admitted defeat and went back to bed. I had no doubt that they would dream of crispy, fresh corn and wake up raring to scoff.
Of course, as well as being eating machines, chickens also have pretty rubbish attention spans. So this morning, the half eaten corn lay neglected under the Palace's ramp. It hadn't been spotted by the usual suspects at breakfast, and now that they were all out free ranging it was all forgotten about. That is, until the new pekins spotted it.
Winnie and Flo regularly stroll in to the Palace at this stage. If a regular spots them, they will give a half hearted chase. But on the whole, they're ignored. So imagine the sheer joy they experienced when they found the corn. Flo actually did a lap of excitement, flapping and bouncing around the run like the total nutjob she is. They pecked at the corn gingerly, not really understanding their prize but twigging that the other pekins wouldn't want them to have it. With this in mind, they took it in turns to drag it to the run doorway.
Just as they were about to commence dragging their treat across the lawn, they were spotted by the serama. Vera has given up being broody for now, and she and Betsy clocked the newbies Getting Away With Something. They came over to inspect. Flo dropped the corn and pretended she was very interested in the grass. Winnie decided to perch on it, in an effort to hide it under her voluminous knickers. The serama were not fooled. They pecked at the corn a bit, then commenced muttering. I don't speak chicken, but it seemed to me that Vera was issuing instructions. After a quick conference, Operation Rob The Corn was back underway, now with the serama helping to drag/push/peck the corn towards the garage.
I watched all of this with a smile on my face and a cup of tea in front of me at the garden table. The pekins were mooching at the bottom of the garden, and I was frankly amazed that the tiny thieves hadn't been noticed. Of course, I should have known better. As the corn got within a metre of the garage door, Maeve ninjad out from behind the rose bush and landed in the middle of the cooperating outsiders. They wisely scattered. ASBO Chicken strolled around the corn, marking her territory. She gave the silently creeping Vera the beady eye and chuntered in a menacing manner. Defeated, Vera, Betsy, Winnie and Flo went off to dust bath.
Maeve didn't tell the rest of the flock, and stripped the corn bare on her own like the boss she is.