1. We are down to one chicken.
Where the other two are, we do not know. The options are fourfold:
-Macy, the landlord’s sister’s dog. The landlord’s sister denies this. Macy looks enthusiastic and wags her tail, which is inconclusive. It does not seem politic to press the matter.
-The chickens across the way, who live in arguably plusher surroundings and include a particularly dishy rooster. This is the optimistic option, in which Arial and Lucida will come back one day trailing fluffy little chickens behind them. Naturally it was Arial and Lucida who trucked off, leaving behind Wingdings, the gimpy stoopid-looking one who was bitten by a dog. She is not laying, which in combination with her track record of dog-proofness may lend some support to the Macy theory.
-Tarantino the hawk, who circles above the orchard for much of the day with his eyes on Tiny Miles’ tender flesh.
Right now we’re rather at a loss. The obvious thing to do is replace the chickens, but I hardly like to fork out money and (slight) emotional attachment for creatures that may not live until the following dawn. If Wingdings survives the week, I suppose I can assume the malevolent chicken-eating spirits have moved on; but on the other hand, the likelihood of that has just gone down a notch, because:
2. We have acquired a dog.
Not permanently, mind you. We’re babysitting it for a friend. She being a boarder, it cannot live with her; and it usually lives with other friends, but - in worryingly vague circumstances - they decided they would like a break from it for a while, and so it has come to us.
Its name is Fargo, and it arouses no particular emotions in me. I like the colour, but not the shape, and I was never much of a dog person. But it seems a pleasant enough beast, and when we took it for a walk this afternoon I got resistance training and cardio, which is surely beneficial; so I am prepared to be affable to it. Not, however, if it digs up my basil.
3. We watched Superman Vs The Elite tonight, for Pig Night. The pig is fond of superheroes. In her mind, they have a clearly defined role: to catch girls. The bad men throw them, she explains, and they [the superheroes] love them, so they catch them; so they must be good, so why is Superman hitting that man? Deep questions indeed.
I particularly liked her reaction to Atomic Skull. “Why isn’t he dead, Mummy? He’s being hit VERY hard. Oh… he’s glowing his head, I guess he must be made of magic.” (Whereupon I suppose I ought to have explained the wonders of nuclear fusion, instead of elbowing Helpdesk Man and going “Heh - “glowing his head”.”)
4. I just finished an article about gender differences in fetuses and newborns. I found this study. Read it if you’re glum; it’ll cheer you up.