Thursday, 16 June 2011

Oh Pooh

Some weeks ago my lovely "Auntie J" brought her grandaughter (my first-cousin- once-removed, so the genealogy websites inform me) to meet the Girls. And the Babies.

T (my fc1r) is very shy. I had never met her before, so I wasn't really surprised.  She's also not had a huge amount of contact with animals before (loves the idea in theory, seems less attractive in practice), so meeting my uber-friendly cat Washburn, and my voraciously greedy chooks was interesting.    She really seemed to like the chicks, who were all at the cute-n-fluffy stage at her first visit.   I'd made cake as well, on the basis that most small people like that sort of thing.   

She is a real poppet.  Auntie J and I had trouble keeping a straight face at some points.  Trying to get her to say please when she asked for something,  I asked her "What's the magic word?".   She thought about it for  a moment and then replied "abracadabra".
Turns out that T really really liked the chickens.  She's been pestering Auntie J to bring her over again;  Auntie J explained that the chicks were not chicks anymore,  but T was adamant that she wanted to come and see them anyway.  Yesterday was The Day.    I baked a banana cake (just in case there was disappointment over the chicks now being small chickens).

On the bus on the way over,  Auntie J and T practiced saying "Hello".  The moment I opened the front door,  T rushed behind J.     However, the shyness started to wear off when she spotted the banana cake cooling in the kitchen, and she recovered enough to present me with a beautiful drawing she'd done of my chickens, and some strawberries from her garden. Yum!

She was very keen to get on with the business of seeing the Girls and checking for eggs.  Being boring old grown-ups,  Auntie J and I decided that coffee (apple juice for T) was the first order of business after a long bus journey.  An impatient T kept spotting Girls in the garden, and in the end she took herself outside to see them through the safety of the netting.

We went out. I asked her if she wanted to come in to the Girls' area.  She was in like a flash. I warned her about the chicken poo.   We checked for eggs (fortunately Milly was sitting on one).  We stroked Milly, who was broody and cross.    I picked up Tilda and put her on the arm of the bench in the run;  she was quite content as it meant she could munch a pecka block. T stroked her and compared the feathering to Milly's.   T started to look for things to feed to Tilda, hoiking bits of grit out of the grit pot, and pellets out of the Grubs.   Tilda wasn't interested - I did explain that Tilda was eating the chicken equivalent of sweeties, and that pellets and grit just wouldn't cut it, but it fell on deaf ears.

Then she wanted to see the chicks.  I explained that the chicks lived a drive away now, and we would go and see them on the way home.   T thought about this for a moment before re-declaring that she wanted to see the chicks.    I offered her a choice: we could go and see the chicks right now,    or we could have some cake now and see the chicks later. Cake 1. Chicks 0.

When we got to the Allotment, she was as good as gold.  She wasn't fazed by the chicks running over to greet us;  she stroked them (those that were willing to let her),  she talked to Roo,  she met the Harem.  She even learned how to scatter corn for them.

On the way back to the car, she slipped over a couple of times as we ran around and, to my delight (and relief) there were no tears.   This kind of child, I like. What a credit to her mum and dad.

And then home.  Wiped her feet on Auntie J's doormat, then straight into the carpeted hall..... oops.  Or rather,  poos.


  1. Oooops!!

    Good to have a young chicken enthusiast on the crazy wagon!

    Martin :) :)

  2. Do you know Clare, I'm not sure. I would guess she's between 2 and 4...I'm seeing her grandmother next weekend, so I'll ask her then.