GOLDEN HEN- as Told to Beatrice

Oh golden hen, oh chicken friend, long ago when I was a Hobo girl I passed your way. “She is just a scruffy old chook, they told me”.”past her prime, barely an egg to lay” I was scruffy to, my favorite shirt was blue and gold. One tattered sleeve was missing, comfy and old.

Comfy and old the chicken house, until the floods when storm blew hard, obliterated the chicken yard. Oh golden hen we built for you, a chook house grand and new. Built it from the remnant of an old long-drop Loo. An “A” Frame it was, and very stout, cladded about with perch and nesting boxes.

My bosses old man, arms crossed scowled, called us muttered names, at our creative genius, complete and utter lack of wit, though, or sense. For we had built the chook house on the wrong side, wrong side of a very solid fence.

What fence? He spoke softly, appearing with a waft of damp kilt beside me. It was there amid the hens I met him, the Vagabond Godfrey.

Why up at the hostel where I stay said he, is a fine group. Sheltering from the rain with little to do, I will fetch down some strong folks to help you.

And he did, there was Trevor the cheerful  Outback kid, Anne, a sheppard from the borders, whistled and gave orders, Jim the Irish lad who stepped in a fresh cow-pat, drunk bugger Joe, and the neighbors watched from their porches where they made bets we would drop it as they sat.

Three Canadians told of the hens they kept back home, Godfrey, laughing held up the right rear corner on his own.

..Oh golden hen, she led her chicks, free roaming in that meadow fair, Godfrey, fearless of the prickly gorse, always found the eggs deep hidden there.

It was long ago but I felt compelled to send this story to you, let you know. Though indeed, he disliked beets, he was kind to chickens and folks like me, like he was, a young Hobo…


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