The Other I

July 4, 2019

The surprise unexpected

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 3:51 pm

I have said before that it seems to me the older I get, the less predictable my days become.  Most of my plan for any day ends with the stipulation “barring the unexpected.”

But last weekend this took on a new dimension.  Most of the unexpected things in my life these days aren’t actually surprising.  They are mostly simply unplanned.  Like something breaks in the house, or a neighbour asks for help, or I get a phone call from a family member telling me about a doctor’s visit, or the rainstorm floods the drive and blows down a tree.

The surprise began on Friday morning when I went to prune the rose bushes.  There was our neighbour’s chicken, called Boudica*, energetically clucking around.  She’s gotten out before, and I’ve called the neighbour who comes over and, usually after a serious hour or so of hide and seek, eventually catches her and takes her home.

This time wasn’t to be so simple.  The neighbours were not answering their phone.  Peter suggested that we use a trick he’d learned from a farmer in Yorkshire to catch errant hens.  So I got a bed sheet that had been demoted to the rag cupboard, chased our uninvited visitor into a corner and prepared to throw the sheet over her.  But she jumped  five feet into the air, and then scrambled under the bird netting into our berry patch.  I hurriedly pinned down the netting so Boudica was trapped and went into the house to phone her owner again and left another message.

Five hours later I began to worry that the entire family were gone for the weekend.  Boudica began to suspect the same thing and was making a lot of noise about being trapped in a berry patch for so long.  She did try out the strawberries, but they were not to her taste.

I grew up on a farm, where we fed our chickens grains from the field.  What could I feed our uninvited visitor, or give her to drink if she was going to be here for the entire weekend?

Google suggested green vegetables, cooked or raw, and a bowl of water.  That worked, so I replenished the supply for her supper, and again for her breakfast the next morning, when she was waiting patiently by the netting gate.

Then the door bell rang.  The neighbours had been home all the day before, but the weather had kept them outside, and they did not check their phone messaging service until the next day.  It took an hour for three of us, with the help of the sheet, to catch their errant chicken.

After they left, I found that Boudica had left a thank you egg.

It was beautifully fresh and delicious.  But a little more work to acquire than lifting a box of free-range eggs off the supermarket shelf.

*Boudica was a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61. She died shortly after its failure and was said to have poisoned herself. She is considered a British folk hero.  Wikipedia

 

2 Comments »

  1. What a great story. Had never heard of Boudica, learned something new today.

    And love the thank-you egg!!

    Like

    Comment by Kathleen — July 4, 2019 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

    • Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for letting me know.

      I liked the thank you egg too.

      Like

      Comment by theotheri — July 5, 2019 @ 7:44 pm | Reply


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