Neighbour from hell

Last week, the air in my neighbourhood was stirred. Leaders of three political parties all paid a whirlwind visit in Eastleigh, to fight for the February by-election. I’ve a theory that the arrival of these politicians (Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband, leader of the Labour party) have somehow disturbed the harmony in the region, which consequently provoked an imbalance of the yin and yang in the atmosphere.

That might explain why my house is not at peace. My chickens sensed an omen was upon us.

I told you two days ago that one of my hens was killed. My husband now revealed that there indeed was an injury on the hen around her neck. Based on the distribution of the feathers in the garden — two groups of feathers, suggesting that the chicken was first killed in one location, then was dragged along the bush — my husband the mathematician reasoned that the hen might have been killed by a weasel.

Early this morning, we were woken up by a phone call. My neighbour left an urgent voice mail, “Your chickens are running around the close.” This is not a typical voice mail one would get on a Sunday morning.

To show his manliness, in a half-asleep state, my husband went to catch the chickens. Chickens are smarter than politicians. They are more agile than a blade runner. My husband only managed to catch one chicken back after half an hour, with the help of a neighbour. The other hen decided to hide in neighbour G’s garden. Neighbour G was out, so we couldn’t do anything about this missing chicken.

At 5pm, neighbour G ran over to tell us our chicken was in his garden. We quickly formed a team of 5 athletes to rescue the chicken. We charmed, lured, sweet-talked, whistled, kneeled, stooped, crawled, sprinted. None worked. The chicken knew it was a hide-and-seek game. She was a guerilla who knew her territory; we the army were in total disarray.

Half an hour later, 5 athletes were all bruised, hair dishevelled. Neighbour G’s crowned immaculate garden lost its sparkle. We had trampled on his spring flowers as the chase got intense, and a few branches were pulled off. Later, to make her statement, the chicken flew to the top of the pillar,  singing, You can’t catch me, na na na na.’

I know, we’re now officially the Neighbour from Hell.

Back home, the chicken caught back this morning refused to return to her coop. She sat on top of the pillar, a bit frightened.

Now, we have one chicken on top of the pillar of our garden; another chicken is on top of the pillar in my neighbour’s garden.

What would happen tomorrow morning?

What have disturbed my chickens in the past week? Weasels? Bad Feng Shui?

27 thoughts on “Neighbour from hell

  1. anexactinglife

    It is funny to complain about our bad neighbours but it doesn’t feel so good to be them! I wonder if you can buy chickens that are extra docile 🙂 Maybe they are still traumatized by the murder in their midst.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      I agree. The girls must have experienced something in the night and are now traumatised.

      These are good chickens — they’re normally happy. They are gorgeous and they lay eggs almost everyday. They keep us happy.

  2. Maxim Sense

    We have several chicken on the loose in our backyard. Our house is located in a family compound which is about 5 acres (each of the 5 siblings has an acre each). All of our chickens have black plastic rings to distinguish them from those of the neighbors’ chicken. All chicken sleep on the branches of the mango, santol and jackfruit trees around the house. I have learned how to catch chicken from my father since I was a child. The best time to catch them is at night. I have a long stick with something that looks like a cross at one end. I will gently push the end with the cross at the breast of the chicken perched on top of a branch, until the chicken would feel like it is about to fall and so it transfers to my stick. I bring this down very slowly while the flashlight is focused on its eyes, and ergo, my assistant picks the chicken with delight. Just sharing with you, Janet, a simple technique. Thank you for this post. I find it interesting to know that chickens are smarter than politicians. Is that true? 🙂

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Thank you for this interesting comment, Maxim Sense. It sounds like you’ve got a natural paradise for your chickens. “All chicken sleep on the branches of the mango, santol and jackfruit trees around the house.” How wonderful!

      Thank you for your excellent tip for chicken catching. This will be very useful for us. It’s such a great technique. Now I’ve realised that chicken catching is not an easy task and it would take us a lot of time to perfect it. Chickens are so strong willed, and they might even survive in the journey with the Life of Pi.

      Once again, thank you for your input, which has enhanced my knowledge in the field of chicken catching.

  3. ShimonZ

    It seems to me that anexactinglife may have the answer to the behavior of the birds… poor birds, they’ve witnessed a murder. Of course, politicians make everyone nervous… not to speak of their wild and unpredictable karma. Such a situation demands a lot cosmic relaxation…

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Shimon, you’re a wise man. You’ve summed up well. There’s been a sense of unease beyond our comprehension here. My hens has lived a happy, simple life with us. Perhaps they don’t like intrusion, by fox, weasels or politicians.

  4. misswhiplash

    I blame the Conservatives! David Cameron in particular…mind you Nick is just as bad, no wonder your chickens were all of a dither. Do hope that they will come home to roost

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  6. Cheowyong French

    You certainly have a great way of describing simple events to make me laugh. It was a good start for my Monday morning when I read this .Keep it up.
    Our chickens are normally quite good about walking home to their house when let out . Sometimes we leave the door open and even if we forget to put them in they walked home in the evening. We would then go and locked them in for the night. Sadly a few weeks ago we forgot….. lost all but one to the fox.–This is the first time this has happened in the many years we have kept chickens Mr Fox prowls daily but at night he is king

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  8. Bill Hayes

    It’s that ol’ butterfly in the jungle syndrome. A car rushes past a speed camera, trips a compuer that issues a speeding ticket and 10 years later your chickens get all of a flutter and jump the coop.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      It reminds me of the film Brazil. One fly got into the printing machine and the wrong person got arrested. It triggered off a series of events. Sophisticated. Interesting.

      Perhaps the politicians in the Eastleigh area have really set off my chickens’ nerves.

      There’s a Chinese expression which neatly describes an awful situation: ‘Chicken and Dogs are not left in peace 鸡犬不宁 -- meaning great disturbance, in turmoil.

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