Sunday, 7 March 2010

Question: When is a hen not a hen?

Answer: when it turns into a cockeral.
No, it's not a joke. It's a rather serious business actually.
Two mornings ago there was a strange noise outside in the early hours. I looked out, couldn't see anything (it was dark). The noise? Well it was just odd. Like a barking, croaking, gurgling, clucking sort of noise - but actually none of those.
And then this morning I heard it again. But this time it was a barking, croaking, gurgling, clucking sort of noise with 'a-doodle-doo' added at the end.
Now, I don't know a huge amount about hens. I feed them, I clean them out, I worm them, and I run around very quickly when they turn on me (especially when chicken food falls down the inside of my welly -a very dangerous situation indeed!). But the one thing I do know is that hens don't - as a rule - make any noise that involves 'a-doodle-doo'. Are you following my drift?

So my conclusion (being the Sherlock Holmes type) is that the cute fluffy chick that we raised last year, that looks like a hen and acts like a hen (well ok, so its legs are becoming mini tree trunks and it's got a nasty temper on it) is actually not a hen at all.
Putting it simply: Lola is actually Charlie.
But it looks like a hen. Well except today, when it is looking less and less like a hen the more I examine it. But maybe that's because I have been influenced by the vocal suggestion that it may be something other than a hen (all the time it sounded like a hen, then it also looked like a hen).

My only thought is that it's one of those breeds that when I googled it said 'it's very difficult to sex these chickens, because the first you'll know about it is that they'll either lay an egg or they'll crow."

So why didn't somebody tell me that it takes 6 months before a hen - I mean a cockeral - starts to crow? So, it gets to puberty and starts strutting its funky stuff going 'hey, look at the cool dude here' or something like that? In a very loud and strange -'my voice has just broken' - noise. It's all news to me.

Well, whatever. All it means is that out goes 'egg-laying potential' and in comes 'potential to mightily pee-off the neighbours'.
Don't suppose anyone want a free lunch (with feathers)?

Ok, on to the home ed now. Yes, I know my posts are completely random. You probably click on the blog link and think 'I wonder what it'll be this time - Some political rant about home education? Some funny comment about parenting (or lack of)? Or a dull list of home ed activities with some photos of kids we've never met and have no interest in whatsoever?'

Well today ladies and gentlefolk, I'm going for option C...

Here is the news:
Spring has arrived (at last)
and with it, comes that craziness that infects all who stand in the way.
Mad teacher woman with tambourine in museum reminds home ed children exactly how patronising adults can be:

(it goes without saying that I am always very very thankful when others organise home ed workshops at other locations - but there are times when the workshops serve to remind me why I home educate)
Shocking new discovery of 'hoody' mummy - freed from it's crypt it roams the museum withh unfilled-in worksheets:
Criminal mother finds exactly how quick it is between taking a photo of the stage and the theatre police tapping her on the shoulder and telling her off (approx 2 secs after this photo):
[We saw Charlie and Lola - well worth a visit if it comes to you. Lovely for littleuns. True to the original. And no silly adults in funny costumes singing stupid songs (always a sticking point for me).
Of course I'd give it a full review if the security thugs at the theatre had let me take a few more fuzzy pictures. Pah! Who do they think I am? There's this badly dressed frump of a mother who couldn't find the hairbrush, with my crappy little digital camera and 3 fidgetty kids? Like I'm going to film the whole show (in blurry wobbles with 4 heads in front of me and small child begging for jelly beans) and put it on Youtube..? Ok. Rant over. I suppose it's a fair cop, guv. I give you the full two-fingered salute.]
Child praises miracle of mother actually finishing a knitting project:
[Do they look different lengths? Nah! I reckon it's just that one leg is longer than the other.]
[Notice the non-slip rug stuff sewn underneath? No more hall floor slides for you, my child. You have super sticky feet. Ha!]
One of the family proves that they can actually do academic work without mother threatening to send them to school ('..I'm phoning St Christophers now..what d'you mean? You're willing to do it now..?')
Small child demostrates how best to drown very tiny seeds:
(and then leave them to die from lack of water later)
Middle child demonstrates at science festival how to soak stall-holder's feet with water pump (and not apologise):
Small child makes mother freeze her wotsits off for 2 hours at science festival so small child can ask stall holder 'How big is Space?'
(I wouldn't have minded but the stall holder is her dad. )
'And how big is space?' I hear you ask
(apparently, though I couldn't hear because my teeth were chattering too much).
Big child makes lethal additions to catapult collection (hard things to fire and targets to pretend to hit while actually aiming for squirrels):

Small child finds jelly bean on floor of theatre. Museum assistants date it to sometime in the 3rd century judging by the amount of archaic fluff attached to it:

And here endeth the news.


Buffybaskey said...

ooo very intersting day !! thank you :-) xx

Carolyn said...

Oh the little bundle of fluffy joy is a big bundle of noise!!!!
Well, obviously we could take him off your hands!!! lol
Socks...look fab. Ab. Fab.
and as for museum visits.....what WAS the tamborine for?????!!! Not getting the children's attention, surely????

Big mamma frog said...

Yes the tambourine was exactly for that. And rounding up the adults too. As usual in these circumstances I got a fit of the 'naughty child' giggles and had to go hide behind a large lump of ancient Egyptian artifact to collect my adult composure.

Yes fluffy bundle of joy is vocal. At exactly 5.42am this morning. I don't normally shut the hens up, but I think I might need to before the neighbours guess where the weird noise is coming from.

And of course you are welcome to lunch on legs. If I get a broody hen early summer, and if we can keep lunch quiet till then, then we might get to breed from him before he pays a quick visit to your oven.

Big mamma frog said...

p.s. ds1 has just come in and showed me that the toe of one sock has just unravelled, leaving a large hole and lots of dropped stitches.

Just when you think you've got one thing sussed it stalks up behind you and hits you on the head with one of those silly inflatable hammers that aren't meant to hurt, but usually do.

suzywoozy said...

Well done for finishing socks they look great, I'm half way through a pair for my dd I started last January and I know one leg is longer than the other but can't be bothered to unpick!

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