pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Two Red Hens Go to School

On Monday morning
Xiao Ji and Isadora, two of our ex-battery hens, went to school.   

The selection process was simple
grab the nearest hen
and pop her into
the cat carrier.

This is Xiao Ji looking more than a little grumpy about being selected,
Isadora wasn't too impressed either.

The school caretaker had made a temporary enclosure for them,
provided shelter, water and food.
The children fed them some greens and had
carefully supervised access to the hens.

The day was so successful that  they are repeating
the whole thing next week,
with some guinea fowl 
a local farm.

At 5pm Mrs Clarkson brought them home.

It was funny to see how Frankie and Boudica raced up to the gate
to watch  as their friends emerged from the carrier.

They were none the worse for their little adventure.
Nice to think that there is a class of five year olds
who now know quite a lot
more about hens
and eggs.

The honeysuckle hedge has burst into full bloom ...

the scent is heavenly.

Each morning as I go past it, on my way to let the hens out,
the perfume and beauty of it all
makes me very happy.

The battle to retain it
was definitely

The peonies also smell wonderful, those huge flowers gladden my heart
and delight my eyes.

The first few sweetpeas are blooming and have that wonderful
deep and spicy perfume.

Yesterday the lawns were alive with hundreds of tiny frogs.
Tiny little things, smaller than my thumb nail.
No doubt I inadvertently
squashed a few with my size 7's.

They were drawn by some instinct to head back through the gardens,
across the road and into the fish ponds.
I don't know how many started out
but I do know that many
hundreds didn't make it.
The evidence is on the road
which runs past our house.


  1. Guinea fowl?
    You'll be lucky x

    1. Hello John, That's what I thought too!

  2. Good story and lovely images.

    1. Hello Revrunner, It made me smile - and the hens had a good day out too.

  3. A lot of cackling in the hen house that night!

    1. Hello Joanne, I'm sure you're right!

  4. Chickens are obviously a lot easier to capture than cats!
    Jane x

    1. Hello Jane, More easily fooled, I think!

  5. I have never grown Honeysuckle. I think it is time. So creatively beautiful!

    1. Hello Lynne, I do hope you try some - the perfume is wonderful and the flowers are quite special too!

  6. I just felt like a 5 year old again. Your flowers are just lovely and the hens look like they had stories to tell, XOXO

    1. Hello Susan, The funny thing is that the school is a rural one and most of the children live on farms - and yet they hadn't ever had much to do with hens!x

  7. Gorgeous flowers - I could almost smell the scent from here ( I'm missing the scent of my clematis).
    When I lived in Winchester, one of my classmates lived on a farm, and he brought a lamb to school. It's strange what is remembered after so many years.

    1. Hello Scarlet, I love flowers with fragrance as well as beauty. Lambs definitely have the cute factor, I'm not surprised that it was lodged in your memory. I imagine all of the children wished it was theirs. x

  8. Beautiful flowers. I can almost smell the honeysuckle. What fun taking the chickens to school!

    1. Hello Mitch, Could you call in the week after with a couple of pretty flamingoes? I think they would be a great hit. ;)

  9. The only thing they brought into school, when I was still there, were 'Career Advisors', and what a bunch of useless individuals they were. I'd much have preferred chickens.

    1. Hello Cro, It is all so different these days! We used to have a 'Nature Table' - it occasionally held a bird's nest, or a feather. Never a real chicken.

  10. Three of the local primary schools used to come here to Menagerie Manor every year to see all the animal residents and the latest recues and see how we were helping them all. Children and animals are so much fun I don’t know who enjoyed the experience more my wife and I, the children or the animals but those field trips are sure good memories.

  11. I'm laughing about the guinea fowl....I raised them at the farm. I say, "Good luck in catching one". The children will love them....


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