The Slovenly Fox and the Prodigal Chicken

Upon waking on Sunday morning, I decided that I was going to do nothing strenuous on my one and only day off.  After a seriously chaotic week, I needed some down-time and all-important me-time.  I’m guessing round about now, all you introverts out there, are nodding furiously in tacit agreement – you know what I mean!

‘Me-time’ for ‘moi’ consists of the following ingredients:  I need to be totally alone, in my bed with cups and cups of tea, and loads of reading material.  As it is, I had about 300 emails to go through!  Eek!  Before you are thoroughly impressed – these are typically not work emails.  No, my little business is doing great…but not that great…yet!  These emails are mostly notifications – I’m a self-confessed news and information junkie and too curious for my own good, so I have alerts on everything from photography to Nepal to anthropology to design to the Netherlands etc.

So, this morning I am wading through the most interesting reading material, and I decide that I am going nowhere.  There and then, wrapped up in my sumptuous Indian bedspread, I make an executive decision that I am going to stay in bed the whole day, and read, read and read some more.  Total bliss.  I have a novel that I’ve been battling to get into, as I just don’t have the time or energy during the week to really delve into the pages, slippers and all!

Now, you have to understand that a proposition of this magnitude has to mull around in my head for a few minutes – this is not a decision to be taken lightly.  I am one of those annoyingly serious, full of nonsense, hard-to-switch-off, A-type personalities!  Am I expecting anyone today?  No.  Do I have to go out of the door and leave the house, for anything?  Nope.  Fortunately, on both counts, the answer is a negative.  I resign to hide away in my house, and if anyone arrives unannounced (bless their cotton socks), I will ignore the doorbell…period!  Yay…I get to stay in bed, to read to my heart’s content!

I finally get into my novel again, and am savouring every moment…every delectable word – when my mobile rings, and I see my kind neighbour’s name flash on the screen.  We do not mix socially, but he’s a good, ‘neighbourly’ neighbour, and I know that when he calls, it’s usually important.  I answer the call, whereby I learn that he is looking for his missing pet chicken.  I am a little stunned…ok, so this is rather amusing, as we live in suburbia supreme!  It so happens that this chicken arrived on their doorstep a few months ago (chicken either has no sense of direction or is very adventurous), and the whole family has become very attached to this new arrival.

What transpires is the chicken decides to go on a little Sunday stroll, and lands up in my garden – and pretty soon a white cat (not ours) is seen ‘playing’ with the pet chicken.  My kind neighbour isn’t sure if the chicken is still alive, but requests my assistance in the search.  Oh dear!

Ok, so ordinarily this would not be a problem.  On any given day, you will find me dressed to the nines (maybe sixes or sevens, to be honest), hair done and most importantly, face on!  Yes, I am one of those – I cannot leave the house without my face on.  I blame it on the acne (yes, my face resembled a raisin loaf…it was bad) whilst growing up, but to this day – I will not even venture out to the shop for milk, without at least some mascara and brow liner and…Oh, who am I kidding?  The whole bloody lot!   Bite me!

When I made the executive decision to stay put in bed, I decided I was not going to get dressed.  I was going to stay in my very old, faded grey, track pant which has shrunk to hell and gone over the years, braless, with a black long-sleeved T-shirt with a woolen poncho thrown over, for extra warmth, and the ubiquitous black socks.  In other words, the epitome of style…NOT!  You know the story of the cobbler’s children?  Yes, I’m afraid to admit – I should be ashamed!  I have a night-wear and lounge wear company, and this is what I choose to lounge around in?

Getting back to the story…I venture into my garden, which is a bit of a jungle I’ve been told, to look for the prodigal chicken.  I know how to call a kid, a cat or even a dog, but how does one call a chicken?  Anyways, luckily I quickly spot the chicken minding her own business, and she is alive and well!  Thankfully.  I breathe a sigh of relief!  In the meantime, I open the garden gate, so that my neighbour and his teenage son can retrieve their lost bird.  Said chicken refuses to listen to me – it becomes apparent that I clearly must work on my ‘chicken-whisperer’ skills!  So, here I am, in my tatty sleep regalia, running around the damp lawn on my socks, trying to get lost chicken to come to mamma.  And now, to add insult to injury, I have to strike up a conversation with my neighbour – and I am totally cringing on the inside, as I realise that I must be a sight to behold!  This should not have happened, is what flashes through my mind – I was not expecting anybody.  The one time in my adult life, I am not dressed at midday and this happens!  Typical – Murphy is ever present, and ready to strike!

Let’s not forget this story has a happy ending – the prodigal chicken has returned to her family!  She was nearly cat fodder, but chicken-whisperer-in-training arrived, and all is well with this world!  Well, nearly!  My pride took a little knock, but with it also the realization that I should know better than anyone how important looking good is, whilst you are retreating, resting, relaxing, recuperating, regrouping etc.  I should know this, as I make a living out of sleep wear and lounge wear!  That seemingly, you should always be at your best – even if it’s a Sunday afternoon!

Let this be a lesson…for you, and me!  Best you get yourselves some groovy lounging threads, from Daddy & Fox, of course – so that you will always be at the ready to save stray chickens, as one does, in the suburbs!

Chicken-Whisperer-In-Training,

Saskia

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