Tom has been away for most of the week, and is back tomorrow. Normally I quite enjoy his absence, mainly because I get to watch trashy TV in bed, while eating crisp sandwiches, in peace. But since getting chickens, I now sightly dread him going away.
He gives me instructions on what I have to do with them, like: let them out at 7am, feed them, talk to them, don't kick them, find them worms, collect the eggs, and then lock them up again at night.
I did eventually make it out of the coop, albeit a quivering wreck, and closed the gate firmly. They still needed food though, but there was no way on earth I was going back in there. So I grabbed handfuls of corn from the tub and threw it at them over the fence. The clucking now getting more ferocious, they seemed incensed by my actions and they refused to eat the corn. 'I need to collect the eggs Mummy' Betty said. 'We are not collecting the blinkin eggs' I said. I then frog-marched Betty and Dolly back to the house.
Now safely inside, Betty continued to go on and on about the eggs and insisted that she needed to eat one for her lunch. At that moment in time, I could not think of anything worse than eating an egg laid by one of those chickens - evil chickens who seemed intent on pecking and flapping me to death.
After a stern, but reasoned, talking to from Betty, and lots of sighing from Dolly, I began thinking a little more rationally about the whole thing. I concluded that it was unlikely they were killer hens and were just plain hungry. With my maternal instincts kicking in, I then had intense feelings of guilt, and so decided to cook up a proper wholesome meal for them by way of an apology. So an hour later, armed with an elaborate vegetarian pasta dish, the girls and I headed back towards the coop. I gently poured the food over the fence, and talked to them slowly and calmly. And while they appreciatively gorged on the pasta, I sent Betty in to collect the eggs.