Jonathan: I did write, on Tuesday, that I would post again the next day with more about Charlie, our newly-recruited poultry-man. Well, other pressing matters intervened, I had to go to the croft earlier than usual – too early to check up on how he was doing. However I need not have been too concerned, as this morning, as I rang the bell to summon the chickens into the shed for their food, I counted them all in, and later back out; and all accounted for. The fact that the chickens had already been out and about was a promising sign ; but that could simply be due to me having locked them in (the day of the meeting), and the eagle having found some other diner for his mid-morning breakfast. On the other hand, perhaps it could be down to our new recruit, lately of Western Isles Support for the Environment.
The chickens fed, I went in search of Charlie, and found him just where I’d asked him to keep watch, namely by the seann taigh [the old house]. That said, he was leaning against the wall, and apart from his official ‘uniform’ sweatshirt, his clothing was somewhat dishevelled. If I hadn’t good reason to believe he is actually teetotal, I’d have thought he was a bit worse for drink! But the truth is that the weather had now turned wet and windy, and who amongst us doesn’t tend to gravitate to the shelter of a wall! No matter, he was standing to attention soon enough, the hens and cockerels searching out the young shoots of grass around him. Good work, Charlie!
Now I previously wrote, didn’t I, that I’d take some photos showing Charlie at work, but wouldn’t be showing his face. Not that there’s anything irregular about Charlie’s employment – as far as I know, at least! – but, well … So I was somewhat surprised that he said he was cool about that, no probs! But what a joker he is: I held up the camera, zoomed and framed for a portrat, and … well, this is what I got!
Puzzled, I zoomed out to take in the bigger picture – and suddenly it all became clear: I’d been conned. How could I have been hoodwinked into employing a one-legged poultry-man – and a wooden leg at that!