'How did you get over there?' demands Primrose. Primrose is standing on one side (also known as 'the correct side') of the chicken run fence, and Daisy is standing on the other side (also known as 'the green-and-lush-and-chicken-poop-free side') of the chicken run fence.The four feet high barrier betwixt the two is still standing, and the gate in the fence is shut fast.
'I flew!' says Daisy.
'You what?' says Primrose.
'Flew!' says Daisy. 'You should have a go. Flying achieves instant access to the whole garden without having to want until Denise and/or Andy decide we can have an hour or two of wanton lawn destruction time and let us through the gate.'
At that moment Denise appears. 'You are a naughty hen,' she says, and, sprinkling a trail of sunflower seeds up the lavender walk, leads Daisy back to the gate in the fence and secures her on 'the right side.'
Daisy hoovers up the sunflower seeds and waits until Denise has retired to the Manor to continue supervising the builders who are continuing the transformation of the blog. This sequence of flying events has already happened three times this morning. Daisy is getting fed up of sunflower seeds and is wishing Denise would tempt her back to barracks with some other tasty tidbit, like, oh, brioche or smoked salmon or a few peeled grapes.
'Now,' says Daisy. 'Watch this...'
And she paces up and down the fence a few times, and then stands back as though she is judging the height of the fence, and then she steps back a few paces as though she is assessing a bit of a run-up, and then, from pretty much a standing start, she leaps into the air, flaps her wings and lands...PLOP!... In the middle of the lawn some eight feet away.
'Freedom!!!' she yells, as she flies through the air.
From an upstairs open window a voice of resigned tone shouts, 'She's done it again!' and this time Andy appears, captures Daisy and dumps her back in the chicken run.
'It's a bit of a lark, isn't it!' says Daisy, who is very excited by the whole shenanigans. 'I only wish I had discovered this flying business ages ago. It is most liberating, both in the physical sense and the 'chickens shall not be slaves to the egg market' sense.'
'Perhaps I should give it a go,' says Primrose, although she is a little more reticent because she is considerably shorter in the leg and body than Daisy.
'You could try,' says Daisy. 'Although you are a bit of a short-arse. Perhaps if you climbed on top of the new dust bath Andy so kindly provided for us the other week, you might achieve the extra height you need.'
'You mean like the extra height it gave you to destroy all the leaves on the bottom branches of the damson tree?' says Primrose.
'Exactamundo!' says Daisy. 'And most delicious they were, too.'
'I'm not sure,' says Primrose. 'I mean, I'm not great with heights. I'm getting a bit dizzy in these espadrilles,' and she waggled her feet at Daisy. Daisy ignores her, because it is her belief that espadrilles are a ridiculous item of footwear, especially when there are flip-flops to be had for half the price.
'And something else I have discovered,' says Daisy, by means of temptation,'is that I rather like lemon balm. See those holes?' and she points to the lemon balm which is looking a bit raggedy round the edges. 'That wasn't slugs, you know. It was me!'
'Really?' says Primrose. 'But Denise was very careful in her herb garden planning. She deliberately chose plants that caused repulsion in hens. Like lemon balm.'
'Well I say never be repulsed by anything unless you've given it a try,' says Daisy.
'Perhaps I'll try later,' says Primrose. 'When I've finished decoupaging this stationery box. Oh, by the way, we have a new guest at Much Malarkey Manor.'
'How exciting!' says Daisy.
'Her name is Joanne,' says Primrose. 'And I think we should mention other guests who have recently arrived, too, like Catherine and Sarah and Allan.'
'Where are we going to put them?' says Daisy. 'I mean, once the builders have finished with the renovations there will be plenty of space, but what with Olly taking up pretty much the whole of the West Wing with her knitting we are getting tight for space.'
'It's okay,' says Primrose, 'Tango Pete is arriving this afternoon to erect his Yurt.'
'Oh really?' says Daisy. 'I don't see how that is going to help...'
'A yurt,' interrupts Primrose, before the tone of the conversations starts plummeting into the gutter, 'is an enormous Mongolian tent. It has a proper floor and woodburning stove and everything. It is essential glamping equipment. A glampers is someone who needs their hair straighteners EVERY day, before you ask.'
'Riiiiight...' says Daisy, who is only half-listening because she is contemplating another flying excursion but can see Denise watching her from her arty-crafty writing room window with her best 'don't you dare' teacher look on her face.
'So I think we are all right for accommodation,' says Primrose. 'And I am also glad, as temporary writers in residence, that we have attracted another guest with our witty banter. It means we can't be doing that bad a job.'
'Of course we aren't!' says Daisy. 'We are fab, we are.'
And she disappears over the fence...