Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's News - Now With Chickens!

There's some stuff you just can't make up. No matter how hard you try, you'd never come up with stuff like this. Headline over there across the pond at the BBC News: One legged hen's horseback return. Wait. What now? One legged hen? OK, shouldn't 'News' have been in quotes? Unless that one-legged hen can talk, I'm thinking the term 'news' is probably used pretty liberally in the context that it was.

It seems that a hen, yes a hen, a hen was rescued from the clutches/jaws of a fox, but not before the fox could chomp off a leg. (But can you blame him? Chicken legs? Good stuff!) According to a one Mrs. Marian Nicol, it was her son who "found the injured hen lying on her back after hearing a noise where the chickens were kept. Her leg had been chewed by the fox." Hence why she was lying on her back. It's not like she could hop around and hop for help. It is a chicken. They do have their limitations and breathing and walking are about the sum total of them.

The hen, who goes by the name of Peggy for some reason, apparently used to "land on the backs of the horses and sit there", but that was before all of the leg mauling. "Since her leg was damaged she hasn't been able to jump up there, but we sometimes lift her up and she will sit there." Well, what else is she going to do? She has one leg. You just said it! One leg!

Mrs. Nicol said that her and her son "treated" Peggy and "she is making a good recovery." They don't explain what all it entailed when they "treated" her. Had the chicken not been riding on the back of a horse, I would have just assumed that the "treatment" consisted of 11 herbs and spices.

There is a video of this oddity in the animal kingdom. It's not long and it's just like what it sounds like it is. It's a chicken. On the back of a horse. And the horse is walking. Ta-DA! At one point, Mrs. Nicol is heard to say about Peggy that she's "Just as happy as a hen in, um, uh, clover?" What the heck does that mean? A hen in clover? Do hens like clover? I've spent a lot of time on farms and I do not recall seeing any clover anywhere near the hens. A hen in clover? (Well, they're clearly not four-leafed clovers, as if they had been, that chicken might still have two legs.) How about if we come up with a more appropriate metaphor? How about happy as a hen in barbeque sauce? Or happy as a hen in a casserole? Happy as a hen in a biscuit?

You can view a 30-second video of the hen atop the horse over at this link. It's nothing profound, but it is there. You wouldn't think that it would be that hard to know what it was that you're most interested in filming if you're the one with the camcorder, but it was seemingly not so obvious to whomever was doing the filming, as most of the time it's a wide shot of the horse's arse with half of a chicken on top of him. The chicken! You're supposed to focus on the chicken! The story is "Chicken Rides Horse" not "Horse's Ass Grows Chicken"! Detail! Detail!

For some reason, there's a lot of chicken news being covered by the BBC lately. There's also the story of a cockerel (which I believe is the equivalent in the United States to a rooster) named Basil who was adopted by a farmer after Basil was evicted from a Tyneside housing estate where he had taken up residence. Basil was asked to leave because he was crowing loudly in the early morning hours. (He is a rooster. They do do that.) Apparently, this rooster was a hot topic for quite some time over there. But it's good to know that people on other parts of the globe are just as idiotic as some of the folks here in the US because of course Basil ended up with his own Facebook group. (We're so doomed.)

The article says that after numerous complaints "housing officials (had) to issue the bird with a notice to quit." I'm just guessing that since it was a bird that it was unable to read the notice it had just been issued. And even if it could read it, I'm guessing he didn't care.) People even wrote letters to the Queen asking for her to intervene! It's a chicken, people! (Look, I don't know a lot about the royalty thing that goes on over there, but is that one of the official powers of the Queen? Intervention with Poultry? If so, is it just chickens or are there others birds that she can have not evicted as well? And my final question, are these royal powers of the Queen limited to only birds and if so, is it only the tasty ones?)

A one Claire Thorburn ended up taking Basil in and giving him a home on her farm in Bamburgh, Northumberland where she has 30 hens! ( Holy cow! Basil! You've hit the jackpot! ) But Basil quickly took to a hen named Bonnet and now, lo and behold (brother and sister of Flora and Fauna) they are the proud chicken parents of two baby female chicks and one baby male chick. And for some reason, folks seem to think that because Basil was able to find an uninhibited female farm bird for fornicating that it means that he is happy now and it " proves how settled he is in his new home." It does?

How unhappy can a chicken be, really? Unless it's in the middle of having its leg gnawed off by a fox. I haven't heard of a need for any sort of Poultry Prozac or anything. And maybe it is the new digs that has Basil all happy and frolicking. I think it could be more likely that it's all of the fornicating that has Basil all happy and frolicking and continuing to fornicate. He's on a farm with thirty chicks! (And rumor has it those chicks are animals!) How bad could it be? Where do I sign up? Do I have to crow in the early morning hours? Because that really won't work for me; I'm not much of a morning person.

At this link, you can watch a 20 second video of Basil's new owner saying something which I found to be completely undecipherable due to an accented accent! I was, however, able to understand her say that Basil had been sitting on the eggs for 21 days! Wow. Now that's a henpecked husband.

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