I am going to write to you about a chicken. Three actually. No names, yet, to be discovered personalities.
It was a morning free to plod around the house. As I commence to eat a delicious and juicy, straight from the fridge apple. With all its texture and taste it was the only thing to occupy my mind, as I bask in the sunlight, and rock in a hammock. Until a sudden stop came to my munching away, the chickens would like some of this. I go to their pen.
You see, the three lovely chickens are kept in their pen daily, every day. To me, a sad truth to bear. They are social in nature and, they like to wander and scratch new patches of undiscovered soil. Their pen is clearly a well-scratched and discovered area, just compacted dust really. However, as directed by the regulations of the household on what the-chicken-protocol-101.765 is, that’s what I bear.
So I am at the chicken’s pen, I crouch down at their gate with the apple core in my hand. I offer it to them and start feeling a need to let them out of the pen area. I convince myself of no, and tell the glaring chickens who clearly can sense that I am about to falter on the conviction to their unnecessary confinement at this moment, I see a huge black and gold cat take off up the back fence and out of sight. Male most definitely, he was huge. Lurking about cat in the chicken pen! My heart stopped and my breath paused for a good 20 seconds. “Are you sure you don’t want to let us out?” One of the hens side glances me. Throwing the remaining apple to the ground, I open their gate and let them roam in the backyard.
Amy, dear small white and black pup, she looks at me and says, “Emma is going to kill you when she gets back.” Now, Emma is the Director of the protocol; quite handy, yet debilitating to have around a household. So my conundrum was quite deep, but used my compassion and protective nature to consider only the well-being of these hens. Particularly after seeing on the other side of the fence, a flock of de-feathered, dismantled birds! Clearly cat’s business here. I got to work.
But before I did, a crow sings a ghostly call. Amy and I both stunned, raise our heads to the timely overhead bird chime. Death seems to have been avoided today. The crow flies off, continuing its call.
Irked by these series of events, I email work. “Can’t make it in tomorrow, chicken’s are in danger!” With no trouble, I managed to get the following day off.
I re-fenced their whole pen, in particular the back fence where the lurking cat exited. I worked in a flurry. Pulled all resources available, from chicken wire, steel wire frames, star pickets to wire. They have less room, but areas are divided where parts can regenerate. All in hope the cats find the structure uncomfortable to surpass and prowl.
I asked Amy 20 mins prior to leave the work site, worried about one of the fencing could fall and hurt her. On her return to the same hazardous spot inside the pen, a fence falls on her.
She so little and the fence was so heavy for her tiny body. In heartache and despair, I am following her and she is whimpering back to the house. When reached the back door of home, she stops so I can reach her, and she snaps at me with her teeth upon getting closer. It broke my heart in two, and needed Clare, other friendly housemate, to help me aid her and see if she was ok after the trauma. When I returned to work area after the event, my heart bled for what just happened to my good friend Amy.
Emma returns home, and I tell her of the story. Always unamused, and ready to show you how ridiculous your decisions are (like a daft child that you are), yet her approval or idea is a necessary evil, which bothers my serenity.
“I would rather you spoke with me if you changed anything with the chickens, I did the fencing and paid for them” chuckles to her authoritarian self, ” there are cats in there all the time”.
My internal monologue does not need to be outed on this particular Emma-ism. All I know is that this is my chicken story, and I hope I saved them from that gigantor lurking cat.
Written by Simona Galimberti.
Photo by Simona Galimberti.