Catch­ing Miffy, by Jo Bar­low

Your Chickens - - Contents -

How do you catch a chicken like Miffy? With great dif­fi­culty, it would seem. Now Miffy, The Miff­ster is many things — clever, feisty, a wil­low-the-wisp, a clown — but a cud­dler she is not. Some girls love a cud­dle. They will ask, wings up­stretched, to be picked up, or they will flap onto your lap for a chat. Some will sit on your shoul­der and nes­tle into your hair. Some girls, though, are con­vinced that you are try­ing to kill them. De­spite end­less years of af­fec­tion from you, in their chicken minds you are hell-bent on mur­der­ing them. They may rush de­light­edly to­wards you to eat treats and pre­tend to love you, but reach out a cau­tious hand to stroke them and they are off. And that is sadly the case with Miffy. Last year, some of you may re­mem­ber that she had some nasty eggs stuck in­side her that Chicken Leg­end Un­cle Ja­son the Vet clev­erly re­moved. Catch­ing her that time had been a dod­dle as she was such a sick girl.

How­ever, this year, af­ter Miffs laid a cou­ple of soft­ies, we booked in to see Un­cle Ja­son for her (an­nual) im­plant. And so my trou­bles started. Foolishly, I had booked an ap­point­ment when my hus­band, Gary, was away, so I was fly­ing solo in the chicken catch­ing de­part­ment. I failed — dis­mally — and had to ring the vet and con­fess my shame. Miffs, on the other hand, was tri­umphant. She had the waft of vic­tory in her chicken nos­trils.

But Gary re­turned and the dreaded Catch­ing Day #2 dawned. It in­cluded two hu­mans kit­ted out in macs and thick gloves, one bowl of scram­bled egg, one bowl of meal­worms, one cat bas­ket and a non­cha­lant whis­tle. Had it been a bit later in the day, a cou­ple of stiff gins would also have been in­cluded. For the hu­mans, ob­vi­ously.

Eat­ing egg with her knick­ers in the air, Miffs was at her most catch­able

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