IT IS with deep regret I announce the passing of a favourite and often written about chookie.
A sad day in our household.
We don't know exactly what happened to chookie but a scattered pile of feathers near the shed is pretty clear evidence Foxy Loxy was involved.
Our neighbour lost a heap of birds as well so it appears there's a cunning critter roaming our patch at the moment.
Truth be told, we've had a pretty good run with our chookies in regards to the old fox.
You hear countless stories from people who keep chookies about those stealth raids in the night where birds mysteriously disappear.
Old age had been the only chookie predator at our place for the past 14 years... until now.
It was sad to watch the remaining chookie roaming the property in search of its lost mate in the days that followed her disappearance.
Constantly crying out in the hope she would get a welcome answer. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be.
Thankfully, the remaining chookie seems to have got through the grieving period pretty quick though.
The remaining chookie seems to have got through the grieving period
She has already resumed her regular duties about the place.
There's cleaning up falling gumnuts as Frank the paddock horse spills them.
Regular attempts at kicking Molly the border collie out of that warm kennel with a pretty good success rate I might add.
Roaming the orchard for a leisurely scratch in search of tasty offerings, although I suspect that's exactly what brought about the downfall of her friend.
Putting herself to bed as the sun sets behind the hill.
Oh, yeah, she's also continuing her annoying habit of generally fouling (sorry) the back door mat because apparently that's considered prime position for all animals who reside at our place and it's definitely a case of first in best dressed.
We will soon get some new friends for that remaining chookie which will pave the way for her to assume the regal position of property matriarch.
It will then become her lot in life to break the newbies in, just like the old mother hen did when she first set foot on our place.
Wonder if the old style of rough justice that old mother hen preferred will be the way this remaining chookie goes when those new young 'uns arrive.
Got to let these newbies know their place in the pecking order after all.
As for that fox, well, he or she better be careful as the neighbourhood is watching.
We can hear you yapping in the distance but beware should you come in search of our chookies once more.
Oh, by the way, please don't tell the Castlemaine Sunday market guy we are coming to buy some more chookies - if he gets wind they might become as famous as the last two we purchased he might just up the asking price.