“Have you seen the chicken?”
“No, which chicken?”
“The one who’s sitting on Milly’s piglets.”
“Yes, come, I’ll show you.”
This was our exchange with Jochi, the Millstone chef and Miss Milly May’s ‘Daddy’, when we briefly popped in at the Millstone on Sunday afternoon to have a glass of freshly made carrot-and-apple juice. And, of course, I wanted to show Richard, who’d been away for over a week, the little piglets that had been born in his absence.
Our curiosity piqued, we followed Jochi down to Milly’s wicker enclosure. Milly was still feeling a little camera shy, and hiding away in her little wooden ‘huisie’ with her brood, but she emerged into the sunlight when Jochi called her.
Some of her babies were inside the house, while others were sheltering in the narrow gap underneath.
They came outside too, their eyes almost shut against the bright glare of the sun.
And then, much to our astonishment, a white chicken emerged from the rear of her house. I should be more precise: from INSIDE her house. Yes, folks, it had indeed been sitting on and between her piglets! According to Jochi, she was quite protective of her ‘foster chicks’, and would peck them and clean them, and put her wings over them.
Judging from Milly’s happy smile, as she flopped down in the shade once more, she was quite content to have an aunt to keep an eye on her wriggly young’uns.