The title of the hub says it all. This is how I have been spending my day. Chasing lots of two legged feathery things.
The day started well enough. Chickens released into the morning sunshine, fresh from their night time slumber. Chickens fed. Chickens watered. Chickens laying lots of lovely eggs. Chickens content. All is good in the wonderful world of all things chickeny.
But hark. What is is that shrill sound assaulting my ears. It sounds like the dolcet tones of my nine year old daughter, screaming from the upstairs section of the house! She seems to be quite worked up. I can't seem to make much sense of what she is saying. Something about a fence! Next-doors garden! Chickens! The penny drops.
I rush to the back window, only to have my worst fears confirmed. My entire flock of egg laying feathery things have been watching The Great Escape again. They have all made a mad dash over the fence and were now systematically tearing up everything remotely green in next doors haven of horticultre.
I wasted no time. I tore out into the garden with the speed of a cheetah and bounded the fence with the agility of a sloth on nytol. I found myself face down on my neighbours lawn surrounded by hens who looked like they had just witnessed a martian landing and were waiting for the obligatory demand to be 'taken to their leader'.
I jumped to my feet, the poultry scattered. I ran. I grabbed. I missed. The hens ran some more, I chased some more. Finally evolution came to the fore, mankind showed its superiority and the chickens were repatriated over the fence.
Swollen with pride and testosterone in equal measure, I hopped back over the garden boundry with a sheepish look over my shoulder, just a tad concerned that my neighbours would be looking out of their window with a disapproving frown on there mirthless faces.
Then with what alcoholics often describe as a moment of clarity, I rejoyced when I remembered that the afore mentioned neighbours were out of town for the weekend. I scuttled back to my little corner of suburbia with a sense of a job well done and confident that there was not too much damage done. No one would ever be any the wiser.
Half an hour later my domestic bliss was once again shattered. The fog-horn of a daughter once again raised the alarm. I again bounded the wooden barrier with all the grace of a gazelle with no feet. I chased, I harried, I shouted various obscenities that I am sure the hens understood, as they ran faster as I became more vocal. But once again I triumphed. The ying and the yang was once again back in balance.
But sad to say, my victory was short lived. The pattern was set for the day. My feathered fiends had had a taste of something good and they were not easily sated. Either that or they considered me good sport and had decided to toy with me time and again.
They jumped, I followed. I caught them and threw them back. They jumped.......... you get the idea.
Between my frequent forays into the murky world of trespass, I made many attempts to chicken-proof the fence that had already been chicken-proofed some time ago with much success. Never before had the egg layers found next door so attractive. To the best of my knowledge had they ever so much as put there noses over the fence.
Or do I decieve myself? Have they been plotting this for some time? My own suspicion is that they have dug a tunnel that I am yet to discover. Not once were they witnessed by any of the household to actually 'hop the fence'. It was simply a case of them suddenly 'appearing' in the wrong garden.
The watch towers are now under construction and the children have been ordered to search the chickens on a regular basis for anything resembling a digging implement.
Any more chickeny transgressions into next doors world of flora and fauna will be dealt with swiftly and serverly. Watch this space for updates.
I just hope that Derek and Rachael never read this!