Every night I check on the hens to make sure they are all inside their hut before I lock the door and drop the hatch. Now the nights are drawing in they are usually all inside by 6pm. Ernest by the door with Mabel, Olwyn, Bev, Eva and May at the far end.
On Thursday night however Ernest was on his own, Olwyn, Bev, Eva and May at the far end of their perch. Darkness was descending rather quickly for my liking so, armed with the torch I went in search of Mabel. Calling her name I was greeted by her squawk - obvious she was in some sort of distress. As I made my way to the bottom of the garden I could hear the sound of the stream. Normally this just trickles quite quietly through the village, but with all the rain it had overflowed and was quite dangerous to a hen.
Still no sign of Mabel yet her cries were becoming more animated when I shouted her. I made my way round to the other side of the stream, via the neighbours garden. Shining my torch into the trees I was greeted by two large eyes peering through the branches. In her evening stroll Mabel must have been freaked by the sound of the water gushing through the garden and found safety in the tree.
I returned home to collect Captain Marvel, (Jon) and the cat carrier. Jon scurried up the tree, torch in hand and grabbed a somewhat startled Mabel, put her in the cat carrier and we brought her home. Her clucking was quite loud and agitated but at least she was safe.
We released her inside the henhouse and a few hours later I checked in on her and all was normal. Ernest by the door with Mabel, Olwyn, Bev, Eva and May at the far end.
Update - Thanks Glo for this wonderful inspired response! Denise 22.10.2012.
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