Yesterday was a red letter day, because Wink arrived to take possession of the annexe. She’s going to take a few months to move in completely because she’s lived in her present house for over thirty years and there’s a lot to sort out, but it’s her place now.
Although there isn’t much furniture in there, it looks very nice and it’s comfortable. There’s an absence of cooking utensils but that doesn’t matter as, at present, she’s eating with us. After the anxiety and misery of the last few months; not that this is over and done with yet; it’s a joyous new start.
But for now, she’s making lists.
Out in the garden, there are the three mother hens. I’m not a great namer of hens but, if I do, I go by personality. I decided that Polly Garter was not the hen previously known as Slapper, but that Slapper was her whiter sister, so the two names stand for the two hens. If anyone is British and the same age as I am, they might well remember the Blackberry Farm books for small children. There were various animal characters, such as Walter the Duck, who always wore a scarf round his neck, and there was Mother Hen and Mary, her only chick. So any female lone chick has to be Mary.
A couple of days ago, i decided to let them out of their coop. Polly Garter had started to lay again, which is a sign that she’s had about enough of devoted motherhood. She and Mary poked about in the flowerbeds at the edge of the kitchen garden all day, to be joined by Little guy, the small and annoying cockerel, who is chased irritably by all the hens and snapped at by Jenga his father. Polly Garter was friendly to him though, so he adores her and is proudly protective.
I’d been worried about what would happen overnight, but it was fine. I went to water the greenhouse and PG and Mary were in there. So I quietly left and shut the door, reckoning to water in the morning. Next day, however, when I opened up, PG trotted out and Mary was too nervous to follow. I couldn’t persuade her out. I left it a bit but, in the end, I managed to cajole PG back into the greenhouse and, an hour or two later, the two of them left together. All has been fine ever since. The other chickens have accepted the two of them and, though they spend much of the day by themselves, they come to be fed and roost in the henhouse.
Tomorrow, Wink will meet baby Perdita for the first time. We are really looking forward to a family get-together in the garden.