Friday, September 19, 2014

Dina the Orpington Houdini

This story doesn't really have a moral except that it's okay to be different.  English Orpington's are known for their in-ability to get off the ground.  According to the experts, a two-foot fence is enough to foil the most intrepid explorer.  Since we anticipate having birds that defy expectations, we built our beautiful enclosure with 4' fencing. For a long time we thought she was digging holes and rolling out under the coop.  I had to stalk her for several mornings to catch the action.  Have to confess that I laughed.  Never did I expect to see such a heavy bodied gal take flight. We can't decide whether we are delighted or dismayed by Dina's diligence in escaping - every single day!

Once upon a time there was a young girl chicken that didn’t care if all the other chickens were clamoring after the morning treat.

 While they were busy looking for the best things to eat, she was busy looking for an escape. 

The first step to any escape is to run about with great speed and no clear direction.  This fools the humans so they don’t know which part of the fence will be conquered.  Here, she is running so fast that her feathers have blown to the sides.  (Not really, I just have no other explanation for this feather pattern).

If she catches sight of you watching her, she’ll go stand against the fence and pretend nothing spectacular is about to happen.  She’s humble that way.

Then when she thinks you are not looking she’ll take a flying leap – to the top of the gate!  After that, the whole world (and my flower beds) is hers for the taking.

The rest of the chickens are all “ooooh, aaaaah….”  And “Did you see that?”  “Can you believe what Dina (feminine diminutive form of Houdini) keeps doing? She did that yesterday too!”

One especially spiteful gal whispered in my ear 
“Doesn’t she know she’s too big to fly?  When is someone going to tell that girl she has a big hind-end and that lead bottoms don’t fly?”

Personally, I think little miss spiteful is jealous.


Usually the boys are too busy eating to care.

Every now and then one of her brothers will get the idea that he can fly too.  He’ll gear up with great speed.  Then with a flying leap he’ll WHACK!!  Hit the fence two feet from the ground.

Everyone laughs.

At night, Dina the fence queen, puts herself back in and goes to sleep with her family.

2014 Orpington Lane, Evening, CA