Various suspects as dead rooster is left lying in chicken hut

Mrs Downs Diary
Mrs Downs Diary

Whodunnit?” A murder mystery in the chicken hut. One dead rooster and one dead rat. Both lain flat out.

The rat in one of the laying nests. The rooster just inside the chicken hut door.

By the nest. No sign of any obvious injury but a clear suspect has already emerged.

A villain with chicken supremacy in mind. One who has been biding his time. Sharpening his spurs.

Plotting the top cockerels downfall. Our new Mr Maran who until now has had to accept his place at the bottom of cockerel hierarchy, but who just now may have made a swift, chilling, deadly assassination of his chief rival for the hens’ love and loyalty.

Not that he is is the only suspect. Our other cockerel, a very pretty boy who is favoured by quite a few of the hens for his vivd colouring and preening ways, did occasionally challenge for the title of top cock. So to speak.

But he was no match in size or vigour to finish a fight, whereas Mr Maran is a splendid specimen. A grey and white speckled bruiser.

Who until now has maintained a very low profile whilst he got to know the run of the farmyard, where was a safe place to perch at night (in the bull pen) and which of the hens he fancied for his new entourage.

When he was given to us a couple of months ago he was a timid representative of the Maran breed. All show. No substance.

At first he cowered in the chicken hut not daring to venture out of the pop hole. Next he spent a month sheltering in the overgrowth of the orchard.

You just never saw him from daybreak when he scuttled out, until I shut the hen hut up at night.

I swear he hung around in the nettles until Daddy Cockerel had gone in at night, and then quietly crept in and roosted under cover of darkness.

But gradually over the last few weeks he has extended his farmyard wanderings. Safety was sought in the environs of the bull pen initially, and at this point he abandoned the chicken hut.

Whilst he plotted the demise of the old cockerel I surmise. Rhyming phrases now please note.

Several of the hens began to be drawn to his youth, dashing looks, brilliant red coxcomb, tasteful plumage and muscular frame.

I could almost fancy him myself. Roasted of course.

With stuffing.

After a quick game of Cluedo with my granddaughter to sharpen my detective skills I returned to the hen hut to complete an autopsy on the bodies.

Not really.

Handling rats is not to be encouraged. I would love to think that the cockerel had died defending the nest, and his potential offspring in the egg, after killing the murderous rat.

That would be a neat ending. John thinks however that he actually died of old age and fell off his perch and squashed the egg thief.

Poetic justice indeed for the sneaky rat.