We have had a change in the weather the last few days with rain settling in for most of yesterday, so when I went to collect the eggs in the morning, I used an umbrella to keep me dry while I went up to the hen house.
Being quite used to the idea of an umbrella myself, it didn't occur to me that the chooks had never seen one in their lives before. I sallied forth through the light rain, carrying a dish of food with me, my mind occupied with feeding the hens, getting the eggs, opening their day run and all the usual things that run through my head on the 30 meter walk to the coops.
Usually when the chooks hear me coming, they run to the door to see what I have brought them, but on this occasion, they seemed a bit reticent. I stood staring at them in consternation. They stood at the opposite end of the coop, staring back with varying shades of alarm on their beaky little faces.
"What on earth is wrong with you lot?" I asked, glancing around for any signs of a snake, hawk or other predator.
Silence. Stares. Frozen postures.And then it dawned on me.
"Oh! Silly chookies! That's just an ubrella!" I folded it and laid it on the ground and was cautiously rewarded by the hens creeping forward to greet me with dubious clucks of recognition as they each kept one wary eye on the now 'dead thing' lying on the ground by my feet.
We got on with the usual morning routine and then I walked back to the house, chuckling all the way about the incident.
I love those silly birds!