Monday, February 01, 2016

Fowl Deeds

I walk my dogs most days - either up Killiney Hill or along the beaches from Killiney to Shankill. I amble along while the Missy and Shyla swim, eat seaweed, chase balls and sticks and play with other dogs. A favourite pastime is chasing the birds who play around the water's edge. They never catch them of course but both sides seem to enjoy the chase. Last week I was returning to my car parked at the end of Corbawn Lane after a walk along Shanganagh Cliffs. As I passed along Corbawn Avenue approaching my car I was a tad surprised to see a plump hen walking along the footpath across the road from me. At the same time my two brave unleashed dogs caught sight of it and shot across the road in hot pursuit. Dogs will be dogs and a slow-moving bird is such stuff as dreams are made on. The affrighted creature managed to fly up onto the adjacent wall and thence into the garden from whence she presumably had come. I managed to get Shyla into the car but Missy had disappeared into the garden through the open gate. It was a large garden circling a house and all I could hear was squawking hens - the truant had friends. Given all the hullabaloo it wasn't long before a woman appeared - a handsome blonde in her early forties. I apologised for the intrusion and she seemed not overly upset. But Missy was nowhere to be seen and the squawking had subsided. Assuming she'd exited some other way, through a hedge or whatever, I left the garden and went looking for the errant bitch along Corbawn Lane. No sign of her for five minutes or so. Then I heard sounds of a very angry male voice ("get out, get out") coming from the garden accompanied by barks and squawks. Back I went fearing the worst. Missy appeared in a highly excited state and ran off down the road to escape the anger of the hen man. The woman appeared again and this time she was less than friendly. "You need to have that dog on a leash" she lectured me. I felt like countering that the same went for her bloody hen but decided that a sincere apology was a more diplomatic option. I was relieved there were no casualties apart from the trauma of the chase. And I hope she's picking up the hen shit from the footpath.