I was standing in the queue at the village Post Office yesterday when an old lady (also in the queue) said without any warning at all “anybody want a nice little cockerel?” She was one of those old ladies wearing as many layers as an onion, with a strange bobble hat sitting on top of her head. We get a lot of them around here.
Without thinking I asked what her nice little cockerel was like, and then I was doomed. She marked me down instantly as a mug and within seconds had established that he was free to a good home, lovely little chap (much emphasis on ‘little’) just right for my bantams (how did she know I had bantams?) and I’d be hearing from her. Short of instant emigration, there was no way I could back out of it now.
Long term readers of this blog will know that I am not short of cockerels, the reverse. We already have Boris (King Henry VIII in bantam form), Wenceslas (laid-back party animal) and Moomin (small, fat and slightly strange). That’s enough, it really is. But of course I’d done it now.
Sure enough, this morning there was an unexplained box in the porch when I opened the door. Loosely tied with bailer twine and containing something very boisterous. Forewarned is forearmed – I took the box to an empty pen and cautiously opened it. A multicoloured typhoon exploded out and started doing laps of the pen, hysterically yelling as he ran. I waited until the cockerel (for indeed it was he) had paused, exhausted, and took stock of him. He isn’t little. He’s big. He’s a breed known as Scots Grey and nothing like a bantam. His feathers are mottled black, white and grey and he has a huge bright red comb and a flag-like stripy black/white tail. He doesn’t like people one bit.
And yet, and yet (this is the strange thing) I think he’s fab! He’s a glorious cuckoo colour. He’s a really interesting breed and (this is really important) the hens are all making like true Beliebers at a Justin Bieber concert. They are lined up against the wire of his little pen simply aching for him. In a while, when things have settled down, I’ll choose about six of the biggest and feistiest bantams and take the whole thing on a stage.
I’ll keep you informed. I really, really didn’t need him but hey! what is life if you can’t sometimes be impulsive in the Post Office queue?