Thursday, 10 May 2018

St Trinians



One of my ' new' followers has asked me about my header photo and the story behind it.
The photo was taken during a circuit of the field, eight years ago now when ten warren hens would follow me around like puppies. 
They were mistreated birds that turned out to be a delightfully tame set of girls, and the best layers I ever had.
This is an excerpt from Going Gently from eight years ago 
"This afternoon I recieved a phone call from a guy who said he had 10 hens he wanted to rehome. He made some generalised excuses about his dog being a threat to his birds and sounded so in need of "getting rid" that I agreed to drive over to his village immediately to see what I could do.
As it turned out, the young bog standard hybrids were a gift to a child, who had all but lost interest in them, and I very nearly lost my temper when I crept into a "converted "wendy house" that had doubled as a make shift hen house. Inside  ten skinny birds crowded around me like tame puppies. They were tame because they were starving and wanted food, and not because they had been hand reared..and I was quick to note that the house had no water or food laid out for them. There were no perches, straw filled nest boxes or even any sawdust in the shed...and the floor was three inches deep in wet , shit impregnated shavings which looked remarkably like porridge.   The whole place was disgusting.
The  man noticed my face and thinking that I was not impressed with the birds rather than their surroundings he asked if I would take the hens off his hands.........looking at the scruffy bunch, I decided to not to get angry and simply said " yes, I will take the lot!" It took 30 seconds to catch the hens and put them into Constance's cage in the back of the car. Within half an hour I had fed them properly ( 4 bowls of corn and pellets!!!! I couldn't literally pour the feed quick enough) then bedded them down snugly- 6 in the runner duck house ( the three remaining ducks will be housed with the older ducks) and the remaining 4 in the large hen house with the gentle young purebreeds ..........
I have nicknamed the new girls The Belles of St. Trinian's as their scruffy appearance reminds me of the the 1954 unkempt schoolgirls (above) I think they will do fine...........
I am now up to 100 animals!!!"

60 comments:

  1. That is such a lovely story to read on this morning of world doom and gloom. Thank you John.

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  2. That photo is my favourite in the world of blog headers.

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  3. You were like the headmaster of St Trinians. Lord knows what went on in your study.

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    1. St Trinian's of course had a headmistress, played with great flair by Alastair Sim in full drag. A gloriously eccentric piece of casting

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  4. Keep up the good work or rescuing the wayward

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  5. Debbie11:17 am

    You are a Saint, John!

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  6. Oh John - tears in my eyes reading this - your kindness knows no bounds. How about getting it up to 100 again?

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  7. I'm so glad you rescued them when you did x

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  8. Do I recall an amusing blogpost about a time when you couldn't catch them?

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  9. I've always loved your header photo! One hundred animals?? Were most of them poultry? -Jenn

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    1. 16 runner ducks, 4 turkeys, three geese, 4 guinea fowl, 2 pigs, 3 magpie ducks, the rest hens

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  10. And now the 100 are all gone, in various ways, only replaced by the newer dogs. With an imminent house-move, I guess there won't be any more tales about your rescued creatures, but feedback about your trips instead?

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  11. So glad for the background to your fetching pic, which was what lured me to your site. Those St. Trinian's girls were pretty handy with the hockey sticks and always up to mischief. Did your girls live up to their reputation?

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    1. No they were delightfully tame and so trusting

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  12. Beautiful . . .
    Happy you saved the hens, scooped them up . . .
    Brought them home to live and thrive . .
    words can’t express the feelings emoting from me as I read . . .
    beautiful soul you are John . . .

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  13. I am so happy that they ended up with you. At least the man gave someone the opportunity to take them off his hands - thank goodness it was the right ones. :)

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  14. I've always thought your header photo is one of the very best!

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  15. While I have read your blog for a long time, clearly not long enough to remember that, or maybe you never said. It was a deed well done.

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  16. Wow you could have made enough chicken soup for the whole village! What an excellent way to meet people. Oh calm down people, of course I'm joking. Lol

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  17. You are a good kind, good man.

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  18. I crack up at this photo and didn't know the story either. John, you are such a kind soul

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  19. What a sad situation for those poor girls....they landed right side up with you though. Every time I see those chickens in your header I think of Jimmy Durante.

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  20. You did a wonderful thing and made me smile with this story. Acts of kindness makes the world a much better place and gives humanity hope.

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  21. I too love your header. Had a flock of Rhode Island
    Reds many years ago. Rooster had beautiful shiny feathers.

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    1. I also had a Rhode Island Red rooster who was totally blind. He lived in his own house and was walked daily in the field where he would follow my voice. He was called a Rooster Cogburn

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    2. I remember Cogburn! Can you put up an old post about him?

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    3. We had a rooster who was totally blind by the end, too! He was black and white and his name was Pepper. His wife was Salt.

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  22. You did exactly what a good person would do ... with some extra kindness thrown in.
    It just makes me realize how few and far between, "good" persons are ...

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  23. I'm glad you reposted this story. I did not know it either. Those poor chickens were so lucky you came along to save them!

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  24. I didn't know that story either. I loved the last line, what a good person you are! All the best John.

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  25. This makes my heart so sad. But happy, too. What lucky chooks they were when you came into their lives.

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  26. I hope you think of your blog readers as your new herd of imprinted chickens, following you just like the hens of Saint Trinian's with the same devotion and the same gratitude for your kindnesses and the same hunger for the compassion you show to all critters (even the human ones).

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  27. Sometimes when reading your posts, I don't know whether to laugh or cry...and often do both in one article like today. That picture is what lead me to your blog initially and really just says it all.

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  28. I'm glad I found you! What a lovely story to read today after all that has transpired here in the USA. It's good to be reminded that there are good people in the world and that keeping a positive attitude and outlook will heal my broken spirit. I am "sharing the love" on my blog today. xoxo

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  29. You're a hero, John! So many people get animals and are ill-equipped to care for them. At least the man had the wisdom to find them a new owner. Thanks for reposting this -- I've always wondered about the story behind that photo!

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  30. Most don't know how each chicken has its own personality. I once hand fed Baby Girl, an Auracana, who had a brain injury after a dog attack. Round the clock for six weeks I took care of her and got her back to the assist feed stage. She walked in circles and talked. I loved her. We animal lovers will do anything for them and I hope when I go, if there is a heaven, it will be to animal heaven.

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  31. Gawd, John. I welled up again, after all these years. Compassion is your gift.

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    1. As you close up shop you're leading us on quite the stroll down memory lane!

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    2. I'm posting an old post about the blind rooster Cogburn tomorrow

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  32. I have always loved your header. When I first saw your blog this photo was the main reason I started to read. Since I never knew this sad but happy story I just assumed you laid down as you do and your chickens came over for a natter and snack. After all these years ever time I see your heading I always smile.

    cheers, parsnip

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  33. A heart of gold, I say.

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  34. Your an animal whisperer! You saw them in squallowing condition and your their Prince. You always make me cry happy tears John Gray. Gabs

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  35. You couldn't have said no ... no more than I could have.

    We had someone come knocking on our front door waving a ten pound note asking if he could buy one of our chickens for his daughter. I said no, of course, 'they are family' ... he looked at me as though I was a complete nut job and beat a hasty retreat.

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  36. i never knew the story behind them either. i'm so glad someone had sense enough to ask.
    and it's beautiful. as are you. xo

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  37. and as i just wrote that i look over on the right into the sweet face of No 21. i dearly love pigs. i became a vegetarian the minute i finished watching the movie 'Babe.' i swear No 21 is smiling there. can his/her story be told after Cogburn's? these are so wonderful.

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    1. Ok I'll do a cross section tomorrow

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  38. Linda P.5:48 pm

    I agree with others who say your header is their favorite in the blogging world. It's mine, too.

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  39. I've always loved your animal stories, it's a bit sad the busy Ukrainian Village has dwindled to just poor Irene.

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  40. Lorna6:58 pm

    John Gray, you are a fine human being! Thank you.

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  41. My favourite rock band when I was about 16 was called Chicken Shack.

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  42. What a truly lovely man you are. It's a wonderful picture,'in your face' chicken and 'coy' chicken, now safe.

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  43. A belated thank you from here.

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  44. Nice to hear the story behind your header photo John. I have always enjoyed seeing that photo everyday. Been following your blog for a few years now. Will have to go back to the beginning and read from their in my retirement from July.

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    1. Some of it will bore the tits off u

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  45. Your header was what drew me in to you blog, too! But I stayed for the stories . . . like this one.

    I can't bear to see animals mistreated. Animals, children, and elders. I am not a violent person but abuse of those groups enrages me. I'm glad those chickens found a new home with you.

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  47. Beautiful image the building You chose well for the theme.
    Your blog is very nice,Thanks for sharing good blog.
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