Such is the way of the world.
The hen neither improved or deteriorated , she remained stubbornly " unwell"...so it was inevitable that the other hens, who often mistrust a fellow that is " different " in any way, would start to pick on her.
On Christmas Day the muddy coloured hen disappeared. I suspect the other hens had driven her out into the field to die, so I thought nothing more about it.....I had more pressing things to think about......
That was until I locked the animals up for the night yesterday.
It was almost dark and terribly squally when I tottered from one hen house to another in my hat and scarf. The Ukrainian village was deserted, for even the sheep had hidden themselves away in the bad weather, so it was a case of lock the doors and leg it back to the cottage.
I was just dragging my wellies through the mud, when a movement from the hawthorn hedge caught my eye. I thought it was a rabbit at first, but out of the darkness, about thirty feet away crept the muddy coloured hen.
Purposefully, she made her way over to where I stood, and stopped an inch from my foot. There she stood hunched and sad obviously waiting for me to " do something" before the darkness really hit home.
When the shit hits the fan, animals will often overcome any natural shyness with humans, in order to maintain their own safety....it's a strange phenomenon , and a rather a moving one to witness.
It is also not as rare as one may think.
I picked the bland little hen up and tucked her safely away in my coat where she shivered quietly against the crook of my arm before I found her a space in a spare coop with food and water....and I thought to myself that I had just witnessed something rather wonderful.....a small little moment of contact between a nondescript pea brained, sick old hen.....and a 51 year old fart who was rushing home to keep warm