Why life is better when the neighbours are home 48



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My neighbours came home after a little over 3 weeks holiday away, tonight. Their son and I were rostered to look after the animals and garden. The son does shift work so when he was working I looked after the chooks and ducks. I was also given the task of hosing the potted plants. He had the task of hosing the prized vegie patch and looking after the aviary.

I have a terrible history with the neighbours animals. Last time they were away I managed to kill one of the ducks.




This time all animals are accounted for (unless the aviary was missed). I did however forget all about the potted plants. And there are no worms left in the worm farm as I think they must have cooked in the hot weather. The prized vegie patch is a total mess. There are five bantam hens (no trouble) and a large black hen.

Blackie was the culprit in the vegie patch. She managed to fly over the fence every day and had her own smorgasbord of delights there for the picking. “Clip her wings” was the suggestion my neighbour had when I sent her a message. No way, not after killing the duck that time, I can’t be trusted with sharp instruments near animals. Every day was tense as I hoped she wouldn’t decide the grass was greener on my side of the fence and fly over to my place as my dogs are chook murderers (they killed my three chooks last May) and I didn’t want another death on my hands. So the prized vegies are no longer. In their place is bare dirt.

Then someone left the gate for the ducks open (wasn’t me). I was out and when I came home my son was in our yard washing his car (only visits if he wants something). He said when he arrived there were four ducks in our driveway, headed for the creek. The gate was not only left open, but the gate between the two properties was open. So he shooed them back into their own place. I’m so glad he visited us to wash his car, otherwise my neighbour would come home to no ducks. Bad enough killing one that time, but losing four…

The male duck, Chuck, was hatched by a bantam hen. He is very confused as to his heritage. Brought up by a chicken but with duck characteristics like heading for water, he is at ease with both chickens and ducks. My neighbour told me not to let him in with the chooks. I forgot and found him having his way with one of the bantams. She survived and I was more careful after that.

Am I glad my neighbours are back? Too right I am!

Jeanette Southam

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