You know how people make jokes about things and they come true?
This is how The Chicken came into our lives.
Our friends are always laughing (and not behind our backs either) at the zoo that is our home.
Each visit is accompanied by the eye-roll when they discover yet another foundling has moved in and the latest joke was that they can’t believe we don’t have chickens. I did a mental count of all the animals we have had and have. It goes a bit like this. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, mice, tropical fish, axolotls, hermit crabs, horses, a goat (oh that was fun, not), a snake, a turtle, a Sun Conya, an Alexandrine parrot, budgies, and other birds. Then there are the animals we have rescued – kangaroos, a possum, a wedge-tailed eagle, a water-dragon, shingle-back lizards, blue-tongues, lorikeets, a pigeon, joeys, kittens, puppies, a koala and a guinea pig. And now, a chicken.
I only came upstairs to make a coffee, that’s all I did, I swear. Just a brief study break and a chance to grab some sun. Sitting on the verandah, sipping my coffee, minding my own business. Well, trying to.
Next thing, The Princess lets out an almighty squeal, “Mum, there’s a chicken on the road”. My eyes squinting from the sun, I can only lay eyes on a straggly ibis, poking around in the neighbour’s garden.
“That is an ibis, not a chicken”, I tell The Princess. Insert eye-roll here. In fact, insert massive eye-roll accompanied by a clicking sound signalling that I had indeed lost my marbles this very fine day. “No, Mum. Can’t you see over there – a chicken”.
Sure enough, in the far distance, a plump little Rhode Island Red was strutting around the nature strip like it owned the place. Now, to understand living with The Princess is to know that we have to watch every animal show, wildlife documentary, Dr Harry repeat and the like. I swear The Princess has an in-built animal detection radar.
Next thing I know, The Princess is running out the door and down the street and to my absolute inability to say no (I’m working on it), we have acquired a chicken. Back up the street comes The Princess yelling “Muuuuuuum, I’ve got a chicken”. Wonderful. Could we at least try and find the owners? After half an hour of door knocking, The Princess returns. I am hopeful but, no. The Princess returns with said chicken and a cage, seed and bedding. Seems the neighbours are NOT on my side.
After her recent visit to The Ekka, I was duly informed by the father of The Princess that she wanted to bring home a turkey, a lamb, a goat and some baby chickens. She must have been 3 hours in that animal nursery feeding everything. Thank goodness for the distraction of show bags.
Looking on the bright side, we now have fresh eggs and I am making a pavlova today. Thank you Cluck.