Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Lamentations of Pearlie

I'm a bit moody at the moment. Maybe it's a hormonal thing but more likely it's the aftermath of the Big Girl's Blouse Flu. It's my experience that viral infections leave me feeling drained and low in spirits. But yesterday was a lovely day and despite my return to Mingerton I felt pretty OK. At lunchtime I went for a walk in Currell's Avenue. It was actually more of a trespass by the riverbank where Bert and I used to take the children for walks. It was there that Katy fell in the river and Bert saved her life. It was a beautiful gladed place then and full of wildflowers. There were celandine, primroses, wild garlic and wood anemones. Later in the year there were masses of blue and white spiked campanulas, which must have been a garden escape gone wild.

There were three ponies grazing there. Two were in the meadow and another one was right by the river munching on wild garlic. The ponies have trampled down or eaten a lot of the vegetation but it is still a beautiful place and anyway horses are just as wonderful as plants. I wished I'd brought my camera.

After work the first thing that caught my eye was Attracta out pecking for insects and grubs in the evening sunshine. She looked so busy and intent on her task. This delighted me as she was getting the chance to live a proper hen's life at last. I'd been feeling fine before but seeing that wee chicken foraging in the sunshine upped my mood from fine to happy.


Soon afterwards Bert returned and he was happy too. He'd just come from the practice nurse after having his ears syringed. I know I never mentioned that he'd gone deaf for I was too preoccupied with my own woes and anyway it was a blessing in disguise for me for his (temporary) deafness meant no tin whistle or clarinet for a week. He plays by ear y'see. The evening being so fine he decided to get a move on with the vegetable garden. Pearlie came out to watch.

Pearlie and Penny oversee the vegetable planting

I was telling her about how happy I felt when I saw the hens starting to venture out. She said,

"Ye've little need o'them hens! They'll only bring the fox and he'll ate the lot of them. There's far too many trees about the country now. Farmers planting woods all ower the place! It only encourages foxes and then folk cannae keep a hen or two running about the place! There's nae need o' them oul woods a-tall!"

Then to lighten the subject I said to her,

"Isn't it great watching a man working?"

"Huh! He's only lossing his time at that oul carry-on. Them hens'll soon scrape that lot out when they get the length of this garden. It's naethin' but a waste o' time that!"

Thankfully a car arrived. It was my home girls and their boys. Hannah and Jamie were out to pick up their car from Ploppy Pants and Zoe and Dave were out to borrow Rosie to take on a walk with their pup Gracie. It was Gracie's first experience of chickens and she wanted to play chase. A bit of impromptu dog training took place but Pearlie didn't see the point of it.

"Och no matter what you do that wee dog'll only be after those hens to kill them. She has terrier in her and that's what terriers do. Kill chickens!"

"No Pearlie. She can be trained to let them alone."

"She's got terrier in her and it's bred into her! She'll kill those hens first chance she gets."


So there you go. According to Pearlie all our attempts at self-sufficiency are doomed to failure. The hens will scrape up our vegetables. We will be unable to console ourselves with a lovely fresh egg because Foxy will ate the hens. Should any hen survive Gracie will rip it to pieces. Because it's bred into her.


EveMaryBD said...

Is it my eyesight or is it my computer or is it your font size? I can't read Pearlies laments (maybe thats a good thing) - Gracie doesn't look like the "hen ripping" type but there you go sure I'm just a sentimental city type who knows nothing about dogs - ever since I let Dan's dog "Mo" into the house!!!!!!!!

Nelly said...

it was my font size to start of with but i think it's fixed now.

Anonymous said...

she does have the dark, cold eyes of a killer...


Zoe said...

As I recall - both Danny and Polly had Terrier in them and were able to overcome their bloodlust for a tasty bit of hen. Pearlie did love Polly, never called her a cold blooded killer!

Nelly said...

I've just been over at Lost In Antrim to see if there was ny news on what happened when herself let Dan's dog into the house.

We need to be told.

Sandra said...

Hae ye nae rabbits in your part o' the country? They'll make a wile mess o' thon nice vegetubble garden o' his.
Aye, and thon wee terrier will ate the chicken, because it's in his nature.

Nelly said...

There's not a rabbit would come near the place as there are two many predators.

1. Harry de Cat

2. Paddy & Rosie

3. Bert

Sandra said...

True - abandon hope, all ye rabbits who enter here.

EveMaryBD said...

Ok, I can't resist a challenge, although the "story" is not really that interesting. I can't remember exactly what Dan said, its his expression that did the talking. An expression I have come to know more and more as the years progress. Like the time I told them all I would like to be cremated (when I die and not before!) - this expression is a mixture of pity and disbelief combined with a small amount of disgust thrown in for good measure. I love my father-in-law and we continue to try to understand each other, after all we both love the same man!

another_pseudonym said...

yon pup's too cute to be causing any problems. Quit yer gurnin' Pearlie.

Yes, I know I'm over doing the local but even us cross sea miscreants have a bit of Ballymoney wedged in there.

Nelly said...

Eve... Oh I just love that city/country divide thing. So much scope for comedy and misunderstandings. Then there is Mr H a country lad dropped in the big city. It's good to hear from you again. I thought you'd fallen in t'canal.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Gracie will be a killer. Tell Pearlie that Macy her terrier mum would run from a hen if it came at her and that her Dad is only interested in taking on Badgers. On his last visit he had a very strange ear as a result. Sadie got the story wrong and thought it was Badger the pup who had done the damage. As if.

Nelly said...

The campaign to vindicate Gracie has begun!