Monday, 17 November 2008

Not a Good Day

We had a horrid day yesterday.
Doris, one of our chickens, got totally shagged by Cocky Bastard, our new cockerel. He left her, half dead, on the cold, wet grass and then carried on eating last night's leftovers right next to her.
I went out after breakfast to feed the 'girls' as we call our chickens. My children were reluctant to come with me as they were getting a tad frightened of Cocky Bastard as he can be quite fierce. (Poor girl feeding chickens while we were away leaned over to put food into chicken house, and Cocky Bastard jumped on her back and PECKED HER HEAD).
Out I went, whistling quietly to myself, treading over the large amounts of sheep poo (see last post) when suddenly I saw poor old Doris lying on her side. I threw myself through the door of the chicken run and rushed over to where she was lying on her side, looking thoroughly dead. When I picked her up I realised immediately that she was still alive. Just. I took her in, and with the help of my middle son, we made her as comfortable as we could in the utility room.
Out I marched into the garden again to see what the hell I could do with Cocky Bastard. I was Very Cross. And, indeed, very sad. I look after those chickens day in and day out. We all do. And in return, they give us their lovely brown eggs and make such comforting noises, rather like old ladies in a jumble sale. (Any one who has chickens will get this. Anyone who doesn't will probably stop reading about.....now)
My husband, at a children's party (10.30 on a Sunday morning, I ask you) was still not back.
We kept watch over Doris for the rest of the morning but she wasn't looking good at all. When my husband got home I dragged him to Doris' sick room and made him examine her. I needed to know if we should put her out of her misery. To my relief, he reckoned we should keep her warm and see what happened. I left him with a straw, trying to get some water into her beak. Successfully!
Well, then it all got horrible. Husband and I both agreed that Cocky Bastard was not only a menace, but potentially quite dangerous. Our youngest son is barely taller than Cocky, and it would have been awful to have him pecked in the face or eyes.
And so we Disposed of him. Cocky Bastard. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Felt simply Hitler-like but could not risk him either killing other hens, or hurting small children. My children were really upset too. We had to try to explain it but death is so very final and so very grim.
And then, after lunch, we went back into the utility room to see that Doris had died.
There was a full blown burial service, with my husband leading the prayers. I have to say that even though I was Most Aggrieved, I did get the giggles when he said, 'Dear Lord, please welcome Doris into your heavenly kingdom...' I struggled with the hysteria and managed to look quite solemn.
Now it is the next day. I told people at my pre-school this morning but they didn't really get it. Why should they? Not many of us go round disposing of chickens. So this afternoon I needed to get it off my chest and into Blogland. Hope you guys will still drop by even though there is a chicken killer on the loose.
And guess where my son is being taken to this evening for a friend's birthday treat...? Bloody KFC, that's where. Talk about rubbing my face in it.

22 comments:

Kitty said...

Love the new fancy shmancy header picture.

Poor you - poor your family - over the whole Cocky Bastard issue. We used to live next door to a family who kept hens, and indeed we looked after said hens whenever said family were away. I know just what you mean about their 'chatter' although the one called Clara couldn't half go on!

I hope you'll all grieve Doris efficiently and quickly, and recover. I once presided over a funeral for a snail called Benjamin. I know just how giggle-making animal funerals can be.

x

East Anglian Troy said...

I'm sorry LWM, but I think you must take the blame yourself for calling this poor cockerel "Cocky Bastard". He almost certainly felt he had to live up to his name, especially in front of all those impressionable chicks.

And just when Cocky Bastard was probably feeling really pleased with himself - convinced that Doris hadn't faked it like some of the other chicks have been known to do!

Working mum said...

Just catching up on blogland and must say much better than telly. Murder and retribution in one post!

Ladybird World Mother said...

kitty - will use that word 'shmancy' today. Love it. Thank you for your kind words ... and for the giggle over Benjamin the snail. Now thats a good name for the replacement of Doris... Clara. Marvellous. One more thing sorted.
Troy - lol AGAIN! Husband giggled too... yes, I reckon it was rather a harsh name. (May I just say that my children called him Eddie...the thought of my youngest son aged 4 telling his little class at school about Cocky Bastard would be too awful...) Faking it????? NEVER!
working mum - murder, retribution, and lets not forget the rape! Its all here...

Phoenis Rizing said...

Poor Doris.

I was completely enveloped by this tale...it may have just been about chickens but it had all the elements of a classic Greek tragedy.

I would have taken a golf club to Cocky Bastard..even if he was doing what his tiny brain had mandated...once he thought that he could challenge the children ((THWACK))

Bastard is right!

Suburbia said...

Poor Doris the hen :(
Loved your story (not sure I should say this, rather than be solumn, but it did make me giggle in places!)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Excellent story! We had to send one of two dogs to heaven (ex-desert dogs from Egypt) which sounds quite cruel. We had given them a good life and they were basically wild dogs. The life they would have had if we hadn't taken them in (for many years) would have been horrendous. They would have lived on the streets and...(I won't go into details)...but we couldn't trust them with the children either. So understand your dilemma completely.

cheshire wife said...

Brilliant story! Our neighbours used to have hens. Their noise drove us to distraction at times. The neighbours had also had enough of them and gave them to a farmer who had lost his hens to a fox. Now it is quiet and I can not say that I miss them.

Rinkly Rimes said...

You have practically lived my poem! Except it seems to me your Cocky Bastard would be too tough to eat!!!! You write vividly. And writing is great therapy after a death!

Malc said...

There's only one answer when a cockerel gets all unnecessary, but 'grim' is definitely the word. Our lad is a great big softy - and a shocking coward.

Polly said...

Oh dear, looks like Cocky Bastard got what was coming too him.
reminds me of my first ever day teaching where the kids caught a baby bird, didn't last the day but here I was, having a birdy funeral with my class, it was all downhill from there!! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Vodka Mom said...

OMG! That cocky bastard. If only we could shoot ALL of them.

I can't believe your son went to KFC. That just isn't right.

Lindsay said...

Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog. We used to keep hens and I had one lady whom I called "Pecker" because when she arrived she was really really vicious. Gradually she became tame and in the end was the tamest of the lot. I miss all our hens especially the clucky contented noises they used to make.

French Fancy said...

aw, poor Doris although I have admit when i read the prayer out to Mr FF it did make me laugh - I'm just a sicko obviously.

Glad Cocky Bastard got his come-uppance.

French Fancy said...
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Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Oh poor Doris :( I have chickens too and I lost one when my greyhound managed to get hold of her - completely my fault - she died of shock some 10 minutes later and I too buried her. And nobody could understand why I was so affronted when they asked me if we'd had her for dinner! They just don't get it.

Naturally I couldn't dispose of the offending greyhound but suffice to say I'm a damn sight more careful these days.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh Poor Doris met her end cause she couldn't fight off a Cocky Bastard..I am glad you stuck up for Doris even if she did die..think of all the hens she may have saved..she was brave..fighting him off all alone. Oh I loved your story, and yes I laughed too..poor Doris:)

Debs said...

Oh poor Doris, so sad, you have my sympathies. Horrible swine, Cocky Bastard!

DJ Kirkby said...

Poor Doris, I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible. We had a nasty Bantam Cockerel when I was a child and he used to attack us too...he made a very nice stew in the end!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Phoenis rizing - greek tragedy too right! Thank you for your total approval... I still feel like a murderer...!
Suburbia - isn't it awful how we giggle at inappropriate moments - agony.
Hadriana's treasures - poor you with your dog. Far worse than Cocky B. Kind words. Thank you!
Cheshire wife - Very noisy! We have hen called Peggy who I can hear clucking through double glazing. Good eggs, though...
Rinkly Rimes - LOVED YOUR POEM! And the picture. What brilliant timing is that!
Malc - wish we could find a softy for our hens! Love your blog! My parents love that part of the world. Will keep on visiting it through your blog.
Polly - birdy funeral on first day of teaching! We had butterfly funeral...my class and I 'grew' butterflies, let them go, and boy trod on one. Oops. Joys of teaching.
Vodka mom - KFC - shocking. I asked him afterward did he like it. He said no. Hooray!
Lindsay - Pecker! Great name - how good to have Pecker calm down over time.. Go on, get some more!
French Fancy - Thank you! I am glad too that Cocky B got it, although racked with guilt. (giggles allowed!)
Aoj and the Lurchers - Oh dear. How sad. Hens are such sweet things. Dogs can't help themsleves though, can they.(or Cocky B?)
Far side of fifty - Thank you! Dear old Doris. What a thought that she saved the lives of the others!
Debs - 'horrible swine' too true. Thanks for your kind words!
DJ Kirkby - now that's a thought - stew. bit late to dig him up, though. Next time!

To you all - thanks so much for lovely comments. Sounds such a trivial thing, and quite funny too, but in reality was Not Nice. What I might call a traumette. (little trauma?!)
Amazing how writing something down makes it a little distant. Thanks y'all!

Tattie Weasle said...

So know where you are coming from! Poor Doris. You did the right thing with CB you can't have agressive cockerels as apart from being scary they are also mean spirited and horrid to the girls - and as all my lot (boys, dogs and cats) know no one and nothing is allowed to destroy their peace of mind - I mean eggs are expensive :)

Ladybird World Mother said...

Tattie weasel - thank you! So agree - peace of mind for everyone, but what a price for poor old Cocky Bastard. Hens all happy now, though, and we are going to get a new Doris, if you see what I mean.