This could apply to the edible pulse–which is a little wonder too: but here it’s a reference to our bantam cockerel, who goes by that name.
Chickpea arrived with two companions about eight months ago.
For a while we laboured under the illusion that all three were miniature poules [hens].
This is what Meredith had sought out at the chicken fair [foire aux poussins] in a nearby commune of Couffouleux last May and had been assured by the sellers, that the three chicks were all dwarf hens.
French neighbours in the know were not convinced–and as the three grew larger, tell-tale plumage started to develop on two of the three.
It seemed those in the know were right!
We began hearing sounds that were only too familiar to us, living as we do in the countryside, surrounded by farms and free-range poultry!
OH NO! Please–we don’t want a cockerels, we asked for HENS. We like quiet in the mornings; we don’t want to be woken betimes with full throated COCK-A-DOODLE-–GOOOODMORNING-TIMETOOPENTHEGATE-IT’SALMOSTLIGHTYOUKNOW–DOOOOS!! PLUS, we’d like the odd egg.
After a couple of months it was plain–two of the three were definitely male and intent on never letting us forget it.
Claude and Mrs Tweedy (Brahmas) are the more conventional looking couple and Chickpea “the odd man out”–being so much smaller (a sabelpoot or booted bantam).
On the whole he seems to believe there’s safety in numbers and that three’s a GOOD crowd.
Though he’s not averse to putting on a one man show and one might say–getting a little above himself:
Claude is a cock of the old order.
He clearly believes things were better in the old days when brahmas held sway and bantams like Chickpea knew their place and didn’t go around trying to make friends with “the keepers”.
That is Chickpea’s instinct. He likes to hob-nob.
He’ll sidle up and circle, mumbling bantam small talk hinting that he would’t object to being picked up.
Naturally a certain animal lover is only too keen to oblige and Chickpea is in heaven.
On Christmas Day, FINALLY Mrs Tweedy started laying an egg a day–so every four days we have omelettes for lunch–small omelettes as the eggs are modest.
(And it turns out those in the know can be wrong–they doubted she’d lay before Easter!)
Together they make a pretty picture and seem to know it.
Here they seem blissfully unaware of tempting fate and giving the keepers ideas!