Posts Tagged ‘hen’

 The other afternoon we were distracted by the near death experience of our hen.

Madame Arcati!

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 MadameI 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!

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Walking Country by Hope James

I hear a sound  as I set out for my walk at 7.30, I haven’t heard in months—the warble of a golden oriole–(always an early riser).

Watching the walker...

Keen to let me know he’s back, he tracks me as I go–at least that’s how it seems; it’s good to hear him again.

There’s a pheasant in the meadow that we think is courting Madame Arkarti, our eccentric looking hen.

lurking pheasant...

She seems–as yet– oblivious of this. He circles the house, always at a safe distance, squawking his squawk–why else would he do this?

Two hares in a field bound away into the nearest cover when I stop to look–as far as they know, I might have a gun I suppose.

A farmer goes by on a tractor with spraying equipment on the back–off to work a nearby field. The smell as I follow reminds me of lavatory cleaner. It’s a miracle we have as much wild life as we do.

The garlic is growing fast encouraged by the recent rain.

Garlic grows apace

They’ll start to lift it towards the end of June ready for the garlic festival in Lautrec on the first Friday of August. Ten thousand people mill through the narrow streets and there’s free garlic soup at noon.

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