A FOX has struck again in my hen house. I am left with only one of my gorgeous Speckeldy hens, no Marans, a few assorted banties and a few assorted cockerels. The guinea fowl remained unscathed as they never came out of the trees.
We had originally blamed Holly our Springer Spaniel for digging under the ‘fox proof’ fence to raid any left over roast potatoes, pudding etc. which normally go to the hens as top up scraps to their wheat, But this was no Holly.
The fox did not even have the decency to eat his victims. Just chewed their heads off and left the carcases littered round the run and in the hen house. Before he had focused on those hens and bantams silly enough to consider themselves invulnerable in low branches. Now he has found a way in. We were not in the practice of closing the shutter on the hen house entrance as we never thought a fox could get into the run. How wrong we have been proved to be.
The hen house is now more secure than any of Her Majesty’s prisons, but it is too late for most of my girls, and two of the cockerels as well.
Meanwhile in the house our workmen have actually arrived and started work on revamping the shower room. I have christened the main man Mr Sunshine.
Everything that could possibly go wrong has been foretold by him as actually going to go wrong. He reminds me of a builder twenty five years ago solemnly informing us that the roof could not possibly last another year. It has.
Mr Sunshine is actually quite a clever guy. I think he may be raising his own profile of success, as for every problem he eventually comes up with a solution. I have worn him down with cups of tea, biscuits, cake, soup and sandwiches and maybe actually glimpsed a crack of a smile at one stage.
John has also been an extra secret weapon in the war to win over our fitters. When they have needed some muscle to break out the toilet, washbasin, foul stack or original shower cubicle, he has provided it.
Plus they are secretly fascinated by the livestock.
“Are all bulls that big?” “How many cows are in those yards?” “What are those birds?” (the guinea fowl – never heard of them- what did you call them?) and finally “What’s the matter with those sheep” in reference to the tups’ tackle which they had mistaken for some gigantic growths.
The dogs after initial suspicion have welcomed them as purveyors of snacks, ball games and extra affection. Each time the men step out of the back door, Pip and Holly drop hopeful balls in front of them for a chase round, and Millie clamours for more attention than any dog we have ever had.
Nell hates the sight of them, but then again there are very few people who Nell obliges with affection.