Um, so, our chickens have vanished. I mean, not a feather, not a squawk. Vanished.
My first theory was that someone had popped over next door's fence and pinched them. Jenna said she thought they had flown away and gone to live somewhere else. Martin thought they'd been pinched by elderly and stately Mrs Fox or the younger Mr Fox who likes to play on our trampoline.
If someone thought they could eat them then good luck to them. Not for nothing is the stereotype of a "tough old bird". If they flew off I would have expected them to turn up hungry and sheepish after a few hours (well, chicken-ish I guess, but sheepish somehow sounds more guilty-looking). If we'd had a Foxy visitor then where are all the feathers and gore? We've seen what foxes do before. :S
To start with I was just puzzled, and Jenna was just philosophical. Well she's still philosophical ("oh well, we can always get new chickens") and I am devastated! Argh I was really attached to these chickens! They were so calm and good natured, and followed me around in that animal self-centred way when I gardened in case a nice worm came up. They were so funny and they had already survived such a lot.
And the past tense is killing me! *sigh*