We recently welcomed a new subgroup into our family – The Coffee Club – which contains four hens: Cappuccino, Mochaccino, Latte and Espresso (hence the name “The Coffee Club”). When I want to feed them, I call out: “coffee-time” which really confuses the neighbours (always an added bonus).
The girls have the run of the back garden which in turn has produced a ravaged travesty of a once flourishing vegie patch. But I live in hopeful anticipation of payback – I want eggs – beautiful, fresh, free-range eggs. The first hen to produce an egg will be pampered and cosseted for the rest of her life (well at least until the novelty wears off).
I excitedly informed an American friend that I had acquired 4 chooks: he paused, thought for a while and then exclaimed as comprehension dawned: “Oh Australian chickens”. I had foolishly overestimated the acceptance of this Australian idiom. The world is obviously not as small as we sometimes think.
There’s a much-loved aussie malediction that will really confuse all non-Australian readers: “May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down!”
translation: chooks = chickens, emus = big birds like ostriches, dunny = outside lavatory
Anyway to get back to The Coffee Club – I found my FIRST egg this morning! I was so excited I dragged everyone out of bed to witness this miracle of self-sufficiency. My husband was singularly unimpressed and rather nastily pointed out that this one egg has cost me about $300 in building materials, chook food and lost vegies. Men just get so caught up in petty details, don’t they?
However as eggs don’t actually come with name tags (and the girls had taken off in their latest foray to utterly destroy the garden) I have no idea who actually laid damn the thing. I think The Coffee Club was aware of this and conspired to confuse me so now I have pamper and cosset ALL of them for the rest of their lives.