Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The fall of Elphie, The rise of Prissy 'the benevolent', The intrepid HashTag, Coup' in the Coop

So, one day last month I went out in the early  morning to check on the girls and found Elphie hunkered down under the coop. Her eyes were a bit glazed and she was obviously cold and perhaps in shock.   My first thought was that a predator had gotten into the coop that night and she had battled it all the way out the door. I opened the coop door  expecting   an awful sight to meet me and was greeted by 5 serene faces  who just wanted to know what was for breakfast.  Over the next few days I watched Elphie closely as she sulked in whatever corner everyone else was not in.  Her comb  was a little deflated and her attitude was one of humility.   When snacks were pitched into the chicken run, Elphie would hang back  and not approach the food until everyone else happily grabbed what they wanted.  This is very un Elphie behavior. For the last two years Elphie has been queen and guard, choosing who eats in what order and strictly enforcing all coop rules.  Elphie was a bad-ass chicken.  Here's  a link to the first blog about her http://artisanlifestyle.blogspot.com/2009_08_30_archive.html

Not that she was selfish  or   completely without thought for others.  She regularly stood back and allowed the two elderly girls to have first pick of tasty morsels.  But the key word here is  'allowed'.   During her reign she  was tough,exacting and at times brutal.  Always  in control and always alert.  She could be generous one minute and punitive the next.  But no more.  She is humbled in her fall.   It would appear that Prissy is the new sovereign.  Something happened between them that night  that only the privvy few witnessed.    A new era has dawned. Empress  Prissy has a very open  attitude.  She is the peoples chicken.  Everyone is treated the same.  She takes her meals with the common folk and  no one needs to wait for her permission to dine. She allows far more individual expression than Elphie ever did. Her second in command is Hester.  Hester, if she were human, would  be a drinking,wenching,partying, captain of the guard, removing herself from her  indulgences only when her sovereign calls upon her for action in the line of duty.  Which  often earns her  an eye rolling sigh from Prissy.   HashTag has blossomed under Prissys rule.   She has become the courts beloved scamp.  She knows everything, sees everything and talks to everyone. She is friends with everyone.    When she zips under all their legs to  steal  the  prime prize and zips out again  they all just  watch  bemused.   That HashTag has a cavalier disregard for the social order, and a bit of moral ambiguity, seems not to bother any of them one bit.  They allow her to steal   tomatoes the size of her head, they say nothing when she sprays them all with dirt  after a really good bath, and when she uses one of them for a springboard to jump to a higher location they just grumble good naturedly because they all know  that for all her high energy high jinks she is the bravest  and smartest of them all.  They know that when danger arrives HashTag will fight to the death for them if need be.  She is the greatest comfort of all to the deposed monarch.   In Elphies saddest moments  HashTag is there with an exaggerated  deference for her former position, cooing and comforting and keeping Elphie connected to the flock.  They have, in essence, become best friends.   Elphie in turn, is humbled and grateful for  the time and energy that the most popular girl in the coop gives to her. Our intrepid HashTag is indeed a treasure.  Long live Prissy 'the benevolent'!    

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Prissy always seemed a bit of a wild card; interesting to see that she is now the benevolent princeps (latin which original meant 'first among equals').

    It'll be interesting to see if this regime holds up in a new location.