"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

The Unexpected Guest


A few days back we were joined by an unexpected guest.

I had seen a stray hen wandering in the lane on the previous evening.
Somehow she must have crossed our six-foot gate and wandered into the yard.

No one came looking for her, so Anu has put out water and scattered uncooked rice for her each day.
At night she spontaneously settles on an old piece of sacking in the open store-room of our out-house.

Today she provided us with a gift:


My first entirely home-grown meal and a variation, of sorts, on Bed & Breakfast:
I give her a bed, and she gives me a breakfast…

With plentiful ripe mangos and tender-coconuts falling daily from our trees, we seem to be more self-sufficient by the month.



I can hear our visiting hen now, still happy in the yard and gently clucking outside the window, as I write.



The Good Life was a very popular BBC TV situation comedy in the 1970s.
Pathé News was a British cinema newsreel producer
Picture of our guesting hen taken in the front yard.

8 responses

  1. S. Etole

    What a gracious and colorful guest.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

    • Yes, the perfect house- guest – both use and ornament!

      January 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

  2. Wish we had a visiting hen instead of a visiting pheasant. How very polite of her to lay an egg for your tea. (Chick, chick, chick, chick chicken, lay a little egg for me)

    January 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    • This afternoon Dalila was walking around the house, with the hen in her arms Her own sons are teenagers and I fear she is getting broody!

      January 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm

  3. Toffeeapple

    How lucky you are, you have the perfect guest.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:41 am

  4. Pingback: Labours Of Love | Neither Use Nor Ornament

  5. Pingback: In Hiding | Neither Use Nor Ornament

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