Marauding Hen and Fox – Monday September 1900

The day is threatening for our “wash.” This is not so serious for us as for some, as we wash every week, and the number of articles is not alarming. There are differences of opinion as to the expediency of washing every week, or every second or third week. Many housewives like to have what they call a “free week” owning themselves thereby slaves to the tub and the mangle; but we prefer to have a light yoke every week.

A little tiff this morning with a high-minded maid who — something having gone wrong with the wringer — snappily tells the mistress she may wring these heavy articles herself, which the mistress proceeds in a dignified way to do.

Went out in the afternoon to transplant some Oriental poppies which are hidden by larger growth in front at blooming time; also some seedling lupins and polyanthus and find that a marauding hen has been in.

How is it that a high-flying garden-loving hen is always exactly like 20 other hens you possess — pure black or pure white — even to the very droop of its comb? How often have we tried to catch that hen — but it’s over the gate with a flicher and a squech! We have cut the wings of several black hens, but our garden is not safe till we have clipped them all.

Mysterious nightly disappearance of our youngest, freshest hens, one by one. We see a trail of white feathers through a field. Another morning we find a half-eaten fowl in the old quarry. Can it be terriers? For men come about the place with ratting terriers. We go to bed with cold feet, thinking it scarcely worth while to put on a fire for the short time after the lamps are out. Besides, are not coals dear?

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