All My Hens – A Photo collection

The Top Photo is a picture of my Three first hens, who decided to line up and pose for the camera. From left to right: Henrietta, Ophelia and Cleopatra.

Henrietta unfortunately turned out to be a Henry so we took her back to the farm and they exchanged her for a hen. We couldn’t have a cockerel in our neighbourhood.

Ophelia was docile and timid but Cleopatra was very well named. She was cruel and vicious to the other hens and she used to stalk pigeons on the lawn and pull their tail feathers out. She was also afraid of nothing.

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This was the Hen we swapped Henry for. She is a little Silkie we named Rosemary (Rosie for short) because she used to hide from the other hens under the Rosemary bush.

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Then we acquired Queenie. She was found in someones garden one day with no clue how she got there. She couldn’t keep her but told her sister about it, who happened to sit next to a friend of mine at work. Through this particular grapevine, I ended up with her. She was a regal and lovely hen and she became my favourite. I still miss her.

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This is Ophelia, Cleopatra and Queenie Sunbathing on the lawn. I didn’t know chickens did this at first, so the first time I ran out in the garden convinced that someone had shot my beloved pets. They hadn’t of course.

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Time could be cruel and I lost Cleopatra and Ophelia, I had already lost Rosie who had always been sickly. They have all been interred in the pet cemetery beneath the Rosemary bush. So I acquired two new hens. Seen above, sharing the dust bath with Queenie is the Golden fluffy hen I named Philomena and the Black Rock called Penelope.

These three got on very well, with Queenie a regal but benevolent ruler.

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Queenie died of old age, she deteriorate over the space of a month, becoming bewildered and not eating. It was very sad to see her go. Penelope died all of a sudden, a shock because she was only a year old. So I had to get some companions for Philomena. I then got another Light Sussex who looks a lot like Cleopatra but lacks her cruel and wicked streak. She is called Angelica. The brown hen is called Adelaide, who is lovely and friendly and loved to come into the house and say hello, then goes out again.

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With Philomena gone, I have now got two new hens, that have settled in nicely over the last two weeks. The Black hen is a breed called a Magpie, so she’s called Maggie. The speckled Hen is called Esmerelda.

I have had hens now for about 6 years and despite the fact that they do tend to scratch and make a mess and produce huge amounts of manure, they are so entertaining to watch and produce lovely eggs for breakfast, which is more than you can say for guinea-pigs. I wouldn’t be without them.

 

 

The Life of the Neighbourhood Hygiene Control Officer – A Monologue

It’s time for my stroll around my neighbourhood. There’s always a lot going on, if you’ve a keen eye to spot things. People walk around with their eyes blinkered most of the time. They don’t see, hear, or smell anything. Rather than the three wise monkeys, it should be the three stupid humans.

Oh there goes that silly lady up the street with her four Boxer dogs. They’re taking her for a walk again. Why she doesn’t get a pair of roller skates and enjoy the ride, I’ll never know. Instead she digs her heels in and shouts, “Wait Bruno, Hold Nelly, Heel Rover, Walk Nero” while they ignore her and haul her along full tilt.

I see the people next door have got a new baby. I do love that new baby smell, don’t you? I will definitely pop round to say hello later on. I might take them a little present, if I pick up something nice on my walk. Oh dear I can hear it crying, probably wants a feed. It’s got a good pair of lungs on it, that’s for sure. That’s going to encroach on my afternoon naps a bit.

I think I’ll sit on that brick wall for a bit and soak up the sun. It has been raining for three days solid, so this bit of sunshine is most welcome. Ahh, that’s lovely! I can feel the warmth soaking into my bones. I won’t linger here for too long though. I’d like to do the full round today, as, with the rain and all, I’ve been shirking the last couple of days. I do have my job to do after all. I’m the neighbourhood hygiene control officer. It’s a nice job if you like walking, as I do. I just prowl around and anything unhygienic that I spot, I despatch it in the most humane way possible. You’d think people would be pretty grateful for this service I perform, but you wouldn’t believe how snooty some people can get. Quite a few people don’t appreciate what I do at all. They don’t even give me the time of day some of them. There are one or two, however, that do treat me with the respect that I deserve. They’re the nice ones. I am always extra fastidious where their houses are concerned. I give them an extra thorough check out.

Oh, this is awkward. There’s Duchess over there, pretending she doesn’t know me. She’s called duchess because she walks with her nose in the air, like she just doesn’t care. We used to be, you know, close. Unfortunately we had a little disagreement the last time we met and I scarpered pretty quickly. I am looking right at her, but she isn’t having any of it. It’s a shame she’s like that, I had hoped for a bit of fun later if we could reconcile our differences. Oh well never mind. There’s plenty more fish in the sea, so they say.

Time I got going on my rounds. I like to walk along this parade of shops. There is a good mix of different shops. There’s a hair salon, I’m not too keen on the smell, but Cheryl is one of those good people who give me the right sort of attention, so I’ll linger and see if she’s busy. Oh she’s dealing with that old woman from the bungalow opposite. She’s a nasty one, she is. Just because we had that little misunderstanding not long after we moved here, she has never forgiven me. Well as Cheryl’s busy trying to achieve the impossible, making that horrible witch look presentable, I’ll be on my way.

There’s Colin the dachshund tied up outside the newsagents. Now I am not really what you call a dog person. As a rule, I think they are rather stupid and uncivilised. Colin, on the other hand is an exception. He doesn’t rush up to you, like most dogs do, all slavering and shoving their wet noses in your face. Colin has lovely manners. He just wags his tail and sniffs. I don’t mind that. His owner is probably gossiping with the newsagent again. Poor Colin will be there for ages. I’ll just pop over and say hello, won’t take long.

There, see what I mean? Lovely manners. He’s definitely one of my favourite dogs. Unlike that big German shepherd over the next street. She chases everything, she does. The postman’s having a nervous breakdown over it. He leaves the letters in the privet bush most mornings. Poor chap.

Well, this is about as far as I go. See that road over there, between the big trees? There are a couple of nasty characters who live down that way who I am keen not to come into contact with again. Now I don’t mind a fight now and then but they carry it too far, if you ask me. They don’t like anyone just walking into their area. I don’t approve of No go areas. We should all be free to roam where we please, no borders. Unfortunately that lot don’t see it the same way. Don’t like the competition I think.

Right, it’s time for me to head home. I won’t go back the same way though. I head back through the gardens. There’s a lovely patch of Catnip I like to have a roll around in and then number eleven usually leaves out some fish heads for me.

What?

I am a Cat you know?

I hope you didn’t think I was one of them silly humans did you? I mean, they are alright I suppose, but they do like to make themselves slaves to things. Slaves to their jobs, to their mortgages and their mobile phones. No don’t get me wrong, I take good care of my slaves, and they in turn look after me quite well. I am glad I’m free though.

There’s nothing like it, being a Cat.

Picture Care of my friend Michelle Greensted.

The End

copyright: Kristian Fogarty 06/April/2018

 

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Picture of the Day – A chorus line of Hens.

Today I have posted a picture of three former hens of mine, named (left to right)

Henrietta, Ophelia and Cleopatra.

They decided to line up for their photo in quite an artistic pose!

Unfortunately not that long after this photo was taken we realised that Henrietta was actually a Henry and so we took it back to the farm, as they could cope with a cockerel but we couldn’t.

Ophelia and Cleopatra both led normal chicken lives, eating corn, scratching plants and laying eggs, and both eventually expired from old age.

Gone but never forgotten.