Everyone loved Jerry when we arrived back at the store with him. He was a large puppy with massive feet and a very black coat with only small amounts of gold and not the tan that is usual. Thrilled, Mungo roused himself, tail wagging to meet the new arrival. Trog of course banished herself to an area under the house for a day or two.
Mungo enjoyed sharing everything with Jerry apart from his food. Jerry, a voracious eater wanted it badly. Mungo asserted his authority with a quick growl which the younger dog obviously recognised as “don’t you dare touch my food or your dead”. Amused we watched as he readily complied, reverting to underhand tactics to achieve his goal. He would stand and look at Mungo, a very slow eater, whilst extending his paw until it connected with Mungo’s food bowl. Without taking his eyes from Mungo, Jerry would then casually slide the bowl until it was under his nose rather than Mungo’s. He would usually get a few mouthfuls before Mungo realised.
We inherited with the shop a large chicken run which we immediately had filled with chickens, selling the free range eggs in the store. The chickens were fair game for Jerry who thought it was great fun chasing them as they were loose in the garden during the day. Working in the shop we were unaware of his activities until he caught one. The chicken was still alive but had bite marks where Jerry had grabbed her. I felt that there was no option but to put an end to the chicken’s misery.
Neither of us had killed a chicken but luckily Colleen knew what to do to bring a swift painless end to it.
“We are going to cook it. It’s not going to have died for nothing.” I said believing I knew the process having helped my grandparents pluck their chickens once they had stopped running around in a beheaded state.
I boiled the water to make the feathers soft and plucked it easily. I then put it in a pot in the restaurant kitchen to boil. The stock we could always use and the animals could eat the flesh. It surprised me that the chicken seemed to swell up on boiling and even more surprised when it exploded sending hundreds of eggs up into the air. I started to cry “Not only did he have to kill a chicken he had to kill our best layer. Look at all those eggs that it had.”
The chicken went in the bin and I vowed never to cook another chook again although on recounting the story I now know I should have gutted the bird and, what I believed to be eggs were in reality the wheat I fed them.