The first fowl to come into my world was Indiana Jones, so named as a cheeky chick for his adventurous spirit. He was one of a brood of chicks hatched out next door, in Oom Vossie’s yard; they used to wander over into my property and scratch hysterically at the loose soil that was my front garden at the time. Quite quickly (because chickens grow like weeds) Indiana turned out to be a she and developed the most wonderfully berserk hairstyle, so he became Mrs Jones and, before I could quite come to terms with him being a girl, hatched out 12 chicks on the front verandah, so that put paid to any doubt.
Until, later that afternoon, I realised she hadn’t been smelling the busy lizzie, she had been eating it, the bitch. And even though every time I saw her – and her compatriots, an evil trio of Gertie, Goldie’s only remaining chick from a previous brood; the red hen (peripatetic and disgracefully slutty mom of chicks Cocoa and Butter); and one of the three noisy roosters – attacking the busy lizzie, I came roaring out of the house, screaming and windmilling my arms, I just couldn’t be on duty 24/7. Which is (see above) what you have to be, and with an air rifle, to keep your plants safe from marauding chooks.