Friday, 16 January 2015

Birds of a feather

On New Year's Eve we had something of a disaster here in the olive grove when a dog killed almost all our landlord's chickens.

Initially we thought the dog had killed the entire flock, but the next day - not such a happy new year - we discovered that two of the cockerels had survived.

Quite how they managed this we don't know. They were very shell-shocked and extraordinarily quiet, so it seems that they realised they had come close to meeting their maker.

Anyway, that was just over a fortnight ago and now the unlikely pair spend a lot of time together. The two survivors were the lead cockerel, undoubtedly the big boss, and his deputy. So far as we know that deputy is the grandson of Eileen.

Readers of this blog with a long memory may well recall that Eileen was a cockerel from the first cohort of chickens here who went on the run from the chicken house and became my wife's firm favourite. Sadly, he was attacked by a dog and I had to put him out of his misery. Eileen, so called because at first we thought he was a hen, did at least get the chance to procreate and we are fairly confident that one of the two survivor cockerels is one of his grandsons, hereafter known as Eileen the Third.

Two cockerels on their own are not a lot of use. Our landlord hopes to replace the flock so maybe one day soon the cockerels can get back to doing what they do best, which is jumping on unsuspecting hens for a bit of "Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma'am".

Until then, they are intent on staying pretty close to our house, peering in through the windows. We suspect they would like nothing more than to be allowed in, but their main tactic to gain our attention is episodes of manic crowing and carpet bombing our kitchen doorstep with their droppings. Believe me they are not making any friends this way, but for the time being we admire their powers of survival.

Eileen III at the front with Big Boss at the rear.
The picture shows the two cockerels on the terrace outside our kitchen. The pole running in front of Eileen III is the handle of the broom which is in constant use to sweep away the massive amounts of ordure the birds present us with.

Not difficult to choose a piece of music to go with this post, although neither of our roosters are particularly red or little.

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