Advocates of gradual political change would do well to study the glorious reign of Bella the Fox Terrier over the Train family affections in the later years of the 20th century. "Right", said Mum. "We have a dog, but she's not allowed inside. Dogs are outside creatures". A few months later, the rules seemed to have changed. "Okay," said Mum. "She's allowed in the laundry but not anywhere else in the house, her fur will get all over the place". Winter arrived a while after, and it's a well known fact that in winter, it is compulsory for dogs to lie in front of fireplaces and/or heaters. "Fine", said Mum. "She's allowed inside, but not into the bedrooms". Suffice to say that in short order, Bella had not only found her way into the bedrooms and onto the bed but also in the bed, which was naturally right and proper and soon became the established way of things.
As it turns out, the Baron and I have been enjoying a similar education with Pamela the chicken. Of course, chickens are outside creatures; naturally we shouldn't let them too near our food; and so on and so forth. Which is why I am currently sitting on the bed typing this with Pamela the chicken a few short metres away in the laundry, her head tucked up in her feathers, safe from everything except perhaps the occasional house fox (and the less said of house foxes the better).
Naturally when we set off to Bright we took Pamela with us, and while the other chickens enjoyed the best of the Baron's ancestral lands below, Pamela mostly hung out upstairs with the Baron and my mother-in-law and myself, watching football, playing scrabble* and eating roast lamb (which she pronounces exceedingly good). She has gone to sleep on the occasional shoulder, perched on arms and laps and even the occasional foot. And, while occasionally venturing outside to take a turn about the gardens herself, she mostly stayed indoors, so that once, as I held the door open, both cat and chicken leisurely wandered inside after me, making me feel rather like Saint Francis**.
Pamela is soon to conclude her sojourn with the Baron and myself and lead a life of active retirement at the place of K, a few kilometres away from us in Heidleberg. I'm sure K has got all sorts of jolly adventures for Pamela, including regular meals of roast lamb, cheese curds, and the occasional nap on the shoulders. She's a chicken of very refined tastes, after all.
*Here's a tip for playing scrabble with chickens: don't. They cheat by trying to eat the tiles.
** The similarity doesn't go very far, considering my own proclivity for roast lamb.
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