It seems the time has come to part from our egg-laying hens.
We’ve had them for almost three years, and during that time they have served us well, each providing an egg a day, but for the past three months, egg production has definitely tailed off.
I am even sure a couple of the hens aren’t laying eggs at all.
Savvy country folk wouldn’t be at all concerned: the hens would just be killed, plucked, gutted and put in the freezer… all in a morning’s work.
Deep down (well, actually, not so deep down) I am not a ‘savvy country person’: I don’t like the ‘harsh’ end of country life.
I keep putting off this morning’s work.
I see Guillaume over the fence feeding his hens.
I wonder: would he like some more hens? Is it fair to pass off my old hens onto him?
I call: “Guillaume, Good morning. How are you?”
“Well, but worried about the lack of rain. What can I do for you?”
“Would you like some hens?” I ask.
“They are rather old” I add, apologetically.
“Why don’t you want them?” Guillaume asks, peering at them over the fence.
“They are pretty plump, they would make a fabulous coq au vin”
“I don’t really like killing them”
Guillaume looks at me as if I am completely bonkers.
Ten minutes later, he arrives with a couple of boxes and my hens disappear.
In the nest box, he leaves me a dozen eggs.