She was so runty and hideous that I assumed she had to be a loser in all departments, including intelligence. When will I ever learn? All day I've been trying to think of a specific and dramatic example to illustrate Fireworks' cleverness, but it's hard with a chicken. I'll just say that on many occasions I've noticed her snaking a bread crust away from a bigger chicken or chasing off a crow. There is also the fact that she's managed to survive countless bobcat, hawk, and raccoon attacks on the flock. That's no mean feat. At this point, she may be our most senior hen.
|see how much smaller and homelier?|
|We aren't carpenters.|
My point is this: freaky little Fireworks was the only hen smart enough to leave the house when that skunk turned up earlier in the evening. All the rest of the hens were up there thinking the skunk might be too full after eating all their eggs (which he had) to bother eating them. More likely, they weren't thinking at all. But Fireworks? So on the ball.
Of course, most of the hens were roosting on a pole a few feet above the skunk and because Fireworks doesn't roost she was in a particularly vulnerable position. But Birthday doesn't roost either and she was just hanging out with the skunk. Frankly, I think any hen, roosting or not, would have been wise to make herself scarce when that skunk appeared. As Brad Pitt said in World War Z, "Movement is life." Or something like that.
The other point is that sometimes you're rewarded for laziness. If I'd taken two seconds to actually lock the door like I knew I should, the skunk would have been trapped in the hen house all night and Lord only knows what I would have found in there this morning.
I just made this roasted broccoli with smoked paprika and almonds for dinner. It is fabulous and easy and you should try it.