Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Clucking and twitching

If I needed reminding that my life has taken an odd turn, my wife's parting words - as she took off for Sahagun - would have made it clear. "Please keep the chickens out of the bedroom," she shouted.

This is a hazard, these days. The builders, galvanised by my threats to disinherit them, are working almost reasonably, leaving all doors open for their wheelbarrows in the process. Since our bedroom currently consists of a windowless cell at ground level, the danger of a hen takeover is at red alert.

They are nice chickens, but lax and careless in their personal habits.

Today they escaped, all six in a posse, out into the street. They convened under a remolque (large tractor cart) and stood there clucking and shitting contentedly. We had to get a broom to shove them out, then grab them two at a time and cart them back into the hen hut.

Blodwyn of the floppy comb is the ringleader, always first into the patio area and ready to match Una the dog peck for nip in a battle for breakfast scraps. She generalled the great escape through the main door when nobody was looking. A fowl of great - and bad - character.

Until a few days back, the chicken girls were giving us a strange problem. Pulling together as a team, they present us with at least five or six eggs a day. Unless you are the current President of the United States, you can figure out that is at least 35 per week. For two people, this is excessive. (I nearly wrote "egg-sessive," but decency won out.) We can't give eggs to our near neighbors as they all have their own birds. Then someone suggested Don Santiago the priest might like some, and also Paca, our veteran friend in Sahagun. So each week they both get a dozen of the finest free range Moratinos has to offer. And we are left with a couple or so eggs a day for our own use.

Six hens and a scruffy dog. Right now, that's enough fauna for us in Calle Ontanon 2.

So when, on Monday, our neighbour Modesto offered me an impressive group of wire cages that he used to keep rabbits in, I had to turn him down. The only reason for rabbits is pie or stew. I love both, but I'm not ready for a life of bunnycide yet. Doubt if I ever will be. Those twitching noses..

The idea of caging and fattening up a few Neocons for special occasions, now that I could consider. But they are bound to taste as nasty as they look. Those twitching noses..

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I see you've lured the chickens into the photo with Jiff. Great idea!

Have you ever considered pickling or freezing the eggs? Someone told me you could do that, perhaps if they're hard-boiled? I'm not positive I'd try it myself though!