|Apologies for the slightly blurred pic - the visitors were so busy eating, their heads wouldn't stay still!|
Not a happy initiative - these large, handsome birds were considerably more destructive in a short space of time than the diminutive bantams ever are. Damage limitation was called for. But a bit like guests "with their sitting-pants on", as my brother-in-law calls guests who won't go, they simply wouldn't budge! I asked nicely, I shooed less nicely, I shouted at them completely un-nicely, I flapped my hands completely ineffectually at them but they simply went round to the other side of the house where they discovered more pickings to be had from the vegetable patch. The cockerel in particular was really enormous and slightly fearsome, close-up and I wasn't sure I wanted to acquaint myself too closely with him.
I was reminded of my alter ego coming upon the bees in her storerooms, "Mrs Tittlemouse began to get cross. ... "I am not in the habit of letting lodgings; this is an intrusion!" said Mrs Tittlemouse. "I will have them turned out. ... I wonder who would help me?""
When I got back inside the house, Mr Jackson was not already waiting for me "coughing in a fat voice" and "sitting all over a small rocking chair, twiddling his thumbs" but additional manpower was certainly what was indicated. Despite it being an unseasonably early hour for teenagers in the holidays who only went to bed in the small hours of the night before, I was forced to rouse H to come and assist me evict the intruders before they settled in for the duration. H was more effective than I was solo and between us we managed to herd them out. The gate was firmly shut on them whereupon they stalked off down the lane in high dudgeon at my lack of open house hospitality although they certainly didn't go home hungry! I feel a bit bad at turning them out but I don't really want any cross-breed "little and large" chicks nor do I especially want to see the rest of the flower-beds go the way the ones tackled by the visitors this morning have gone. Gardeners they are not. The avian equivalent of bulldozers - possibly! Fortunately outside the house rather than inside, but "the untidiness was something dreadful - never did I see such a mess!"