we are parents!!
Yes, well, Granny need not have worried. Nor, despite his frequent agitated inspections of the labour ward, need the anxious father (Beloved she means, not the cock.) By lunchtime today, four - at least - bantam chicks were chirping away in the bantam coop. There may be more by tomorrow. The hen, Amina, is still sitting rather than eating, meaning there are still unhatched eggs under her- the hens' eggs judging by the size of the present chicks. Those eggs were put in last so would hatch last.
The only problem was that the bantam cockerel, Rocky, then had to be removed from the nursery; even if he didn't eat the chicks he'd be more than likely to trample them once they leave the nest. Enticing him out with food was easy. Getting him into his newly prepared bachelor pad was not. Beloved was to be seen, arms outstretched, knees bent, chasing him round the terrace - it reminded Granny of nothing so much as the pictures on the old Cerebos salt packets of idiots trying to catch bird by salting their tails. Beloved is not an idiot (mostly). But he might as well have been for all the success he had - with or without the salt. Some tail feathers flew here and there; the bird squawked indignantly, ran hither and thither, wings out, giving that alarm call which is exactly the same as the call hens give when they've laid ("Clook-clook-clook what I've done."). Beloved tried throwing a towel over him; still without success. Granny said, not altogether seriously: 'Why not try a fishing-net?' Beloved didn't hear her; he'd already gone back into the house. Guess what he reappeared with? Catch butterflies or fish, he might have done, he has done before now with that same green net. But the by now furious bantam cock was not going to add himself to Beloved's list of conquests. Never mind, friends, the sight of them, Beloved with his net behind, squawking cockerel ahead, was not one Granny would have missed for anything. Particularly when both dogs and the cat appeared and joined in. Beloved did not know who to yell at.
Granny took pity on him in the end. Between them, she and Beloved edged the bird towards the new coop; with no other means of escape he jumped up into it. Granny shut the door and that was that. Poor wifeless bird. But judging by the offspring he'd done his job. And Granny has a fine tail feather or two to decorate herself with.
And this, please. Granny has joined the Guardian Abroad Blog lists. If you go here you'll find her. And if you really love her - or if you don't - she's had enough bad crits in her time to weather it - maybe you could add a review. She's been thinking it was time she upped her stats, just a bit. Not that it matters, really. But it's always nice to feel yourself read.