Wednesday, 6 September 2017


At the end of last week, two separate conversations with Small PErson's (SP) mum collided in my memory.

The first was when she'd said that SP went back to school on Wednesday and the second was that she was had Thursday, Friday and Monday off work.    I messaged her to check, and offered to have SP on Tuesday if that was the case.  She messaged back to say thank you, and that SP's dad was going to have SP on Tuesday. She'd check with him.

SP overheard her mum and dad discussing it,  and asked if she could come to me instead. Result for all of us!

So, we had a bonus day yesterday, an unexpected pleasure.

I had a couple of things planned:  some time with the chicks, trying to get them used to being caught,  and teaching her to sew something simple.

Unfortunately, it turned out that SP had quite a bit of homework to do,  so we actually spent almost the whole day doing that.      She had to find out some stuff and do a poster (or Powerpoint) about Van Gogh.    I had an idea about decorating it with little thumbnail sized pics of  his pictures... and then when I found out how many pictures that was,  we adapted the design.  We still only used about half of them.   I spent most of the day cutting them out for her to stick.

 I learned quite a bit, and I made sure that she could explain all the points on her poster (How old was he when he died?  How many paintings did he create?  How many drawings?  How many did he sell in hs lifetime?   What happened about the Ear?  What was different between Gaugin and Van Gogh's style of painting?   What is a "lay preacher"?  What is an "art dealer"?  What was special about the painting that sold in 1990?) so that the teacher would know that SP had really done the work.

We did fit in some chick time,  and time to eat ice lollies and bagels.  We also witnessed an incident with Sherbert and Fizzbert, the two "Legcauna".       There was some facing-off going on,  normal at their age.  And then it turned a bit nasty,  and then it turned very nasty.  We went out and I separated th etwo girls, shut oe in the run, and brought the othe rone in the house.    I cleaned her up and applied lots of Septicleanse,  and then swapped them over.

I realised that the apparent aggressor, Fizzbert,  was actually reacting from having a bit of her comb bitten off by Sherbert.    I kept an eye on them for the rest of the afternoon, and noticed that they kept their distance from each other. 

Small Person, of course, wanted to know what my contingency plans were going to be.  "What would you do if they keep fighting?  ". She'd worked out that we didn't have any room to permanently separate them.  I explained that I'd probably have to keep the aggressive one in a dog crate for a while, and then reintroduce and see what happens.   

"What if that didn't work?"  Well, I'd probably have to rehome one of them
"What if you couldn't rehome one?"  Worst case, I'd have to cull.
"What if they were both aggressive"  Well, I'd probably have to pick one to keep.
"Which one?" I honestly don't know. I don't have a favourit
and so on.

We'd had a different conversation a few days before.
"What if Herbert isn't a boy?"  Well, I'll keep him and call him Herbalina (which was SP's suggestion of a name for one of the Legcaunas.
"What if one of the white ones is a boy?" Well, I'd have to try and rehome him.
"Why wouldn't you keep him?"  I only have room for one cockerel
"What if Herbert is a girl and one of the white ones is a boy, would you keep him?" No.
"Why?" Because we breed for the table,  and I need a cockerel that will prodiuce good table birds.  The white chicks are from breeds which are great egg producers, not table birds".

I'm used to these conversations now,  I try and answer honestly and without showing embarassement (and without going in to too much detail). 

We've had several conversations about hens, cockerels,chicks, eggs, fertilised eggs, incubation and brooding. 
Yesterday, as we were learning about Van Gogh,  she said  "It says Van Gogh sent his ear to a prostitute.  What's a prostitute?"   A prostitute is a woman who has sex for money instead of for pleasure or making babies.

I digress.

This morning, I opened the back of their coop to see whether anything had happened in the night, but all was well.  And today they were sitting next to each other in the sunshine, so harmony has been restored.  A bit of a relief really.

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