Jo Bar­low

The Mys­tery of the Phan­tom Egg Eater

Your Chickens - - Contents -

Solv­ing a mys­tery

Down here in the Pointy End of the coun­try, we have a mys­te­ri­ous af­fair that would baf­fle even Agatha Christie her­self. Some­one has been eat­ing the girls’ eggs, but even I could not seem to fathom out who it was.

Now I don’t mind the girls eat­ing the eggs; I be­lieve the egg is the hen’s prop­erty and, if she so wishes, she can eat it. I do how­ever, hate the mess it leaves. So I de­cided to em­u­late my literary de­tec­tive he­roes and find the cul­prit – which was not as easy as it sounds. I was out­wit­ted at ev­ery turn. It would seem I had met my chicken neme­sis.


My ini­tial fee­ble Poirot-es­que ef­forts had only man­aged to de­duce that the egg layer was not the egg eater. Milly, her of last col­umn’s Spe­cial Place, had de­cided over the seem­ingly end­less night of the win­ter months that she would deign to lay her egg in the coop. And Milly is the only one of our eight hens who is ac­tu­ally lay­ing – ev­ery­body else is far too busy to bother with such a mun­dane task. How­ever, no mat­ter how much I tried to catch the crim­i­nal in the act, I al­ways opened the nest­box to find a bit of shell and a drib­ble of goop. Who is the Phan­tom Egg Eater? Who has the eggi­est beak? Who is look­ing a tad shifty? Who is com­mit­ting such evil un­der the Cor­nish sun?

I do have some prime sus­pects, five lit­tle pig­gies if you will:

In­grid Bergman Friz­zle: Tiny In­grid is a bit of a bully and I wouldn’t put it past her to oust Milly the mo­ment the egg is laid. How­ever she is also too much of a lady to dirty her beak with egg.

Het­tie Spaghetti: Mother hen ex­traor­di­naire, Het­tie does love to sit on other hens’ eggs but is far too gen­tle to com­mit such a heinous crime. She may, how­ever, be an un­wit­ting dumb wit­ness…

Martha Tils-Hen: The third girl, she has the per­fect mo­tive, be­ing egg free af­ter her im­plant. Sadly she also has the per­fect alibi in al­ways be­ing seen out for­ag­ing at the time of the crime.

Miffy: It would cer­tainly put the cat among the pi­geons if she was the cul­prit but Miffy and Milly are BFFs; she would never steal from her.

Flora-Jayne: Aha! Now we are get­ting some­where. FJ has a past his­tory of egg eat­ing, has maybe found be­ing in­no­cent too much of an or­deal and gone back to her old ways. And, cards on the ta­ble, here is where my in­ves­ti­ga­tion (and dread­ful puns) ground to a halt.

You see, dar­ling Flora is in mourn­ing. Her beloved Miss Lemony has passed away and Flora is lost with­out her soul­mate. So, if sur­rep­ti­tiously eat­ing eggs and out­wit­ting the id­iot hu­man helps mend her bro­ken heart, then eat away my dar­ling girl, eat away.

Case closed. Agatha, Her­cule and Jane would un­der­stand.

ABOVE: Miffy... was it her? BE­LOW: Martha... surely not her?

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