After the long, grey and extremely humid Friday, Ms Minnie didn’t come to the fly screen to remind me it was near her dinner time. Misty dampness filled the air as I went to find her.
Checked my verandah bed-room where she has been laying her weekly egg on my pillow, not there. Garden shed, then to her favourite scratching and dusting bathing spots. Getting dark now and the first of the very welcome drizzle of rain started.
By this time I was beginning to accept she had been a snatch for a dinner.
Then, I almost tripped over the bulge.
I have been aware that this could happen and when the other two old hens were taking along time to die I had hoped the snakes would end it for them. But no such balance. The carpet snake preferred a healthier hen and it was Ms Minnie. She loved to scratch where the snake was waiting.
I am missing her. A refugee from the next valley I think she has been living with me here for 5 years or more. Independent, she was forced to be a loner when my other red and black hens rejected her. But she survived and became No 1 hen when Horatio, the Australorp Black rooster died.