A tough old bird!
January 12, 2012 by Robin Ellis
The other afternoon we were distracted by the near death experience of our hen.
Meredith answers a knock at the door.
“Bonjour… Quoi?…Oh non!…OH NON…!”
“It’s Maurice–he’s says his dog has just killed our hen!”
Our neighbour, Maurice, was walking his dog past the house when his mobile rang; distracted, he didn’t notice his dog slip off into our garden and grab Madame Arcati by the neck.
An understandably distraught Meredith follows Maurice back into the garden.
The hen is nowhere to be seen–except for an ominous sign…
“She was was lying there on the grass–dead–I thought…” says Maurice, staring at a trail of feathers.
an ominous trail of feathers....
Maurice apologizes profusely, offers to pay any vet’s bills and leaves with his equally puzzled dog.
Meredith bends down and peers into the bushes hoping against hope….
At this point a stream of strangers stride up the drive heading for the church–
hikers armed with Nordic walking sticks on an afternoon outing, taking advantage of the brilliantly sunny weather.
It is beginning to resemble a film by Jaques Tati.
“Bonjour, Monsieur–Bonjour Madame—I think that gentleman’s dog just killed my hen!”
Oblivious of the drama playing itself out around them–or choosing not to understand–they barely react to Meredith’s tragic revelation–and walk on to congregate in front of the church.
Meredith leans down again willing the poor bird to be there–and this time hears a familiar clucking sound from deep in the bushes.
She’s alive! But where?
Madame Arcati is a wily bird and a tough old thing–not table material.
Meredith finally spotted her on the other side of the garden wall–how she managed to get there will remain a mystery–needs must when a dog is about to swallow you..!
Gingerly, step by careful step and answering her cluck for cluck, I edged her slowly towards the courtyard where she headed straight for the safety of the pigeonnier.
Apart from a small wound on the bald patch on her neck where the dog had grabbed her, she’s survived unharmed–we sprayed the wound with disinfectant and installed her in her little house to reflect on being the hen with two lives.
We then had to deal with the kitten (fast using up his nine!)–stuck up the fig tree!