Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic
azurelunatic

The Window Trick

After a while, we had the "froggy little roosters", as they were called when they'd just turned into that croaking teenage stage of chick-hood, still rather indeterminate as to sex. We'd named them Hematite and Onyx, both of them being pure black, having learned the wisdom of androgynous names such as plant or mineral. Both were banties, and both turned out to be hens. Onyx was Narcissa's, and Onyx was an Old English: broad, prominent breast, lovely fan-tail, and more eyes than brain, the pure barely polished black of her name. Hematite was mine, and a banty Sumatra, with short black comb and greenly iridescent shine on her feathers, long tail drooping like a raven's. Hematite and Onyx were as sisters, and went everywhere together.

Their first winter, Onyx took sick, and the two had to come in the house while she recovered. We'd earlier tried, and discovered our error, at grabbing one of the two to pet and hold without grabbing the other. Onyx would cry (piercingly: Old English screech!) and Hematite would fret in her raven-voiced way.

FatherSir discovered, on his own, the folly in grabbing just one. He'd picked up Onyx, and he'd picked her up with less care than he might have, and she yelled about it. That set off Hematite. FatherSir found, much to his surprise, that he was holding two little black hens: Onyx, in his hand, and Hematite, dangling by her beak with a mouthful of the skin of the back of his hand in her sharp little mouth, screeching bloody murder all the while.

The neighbors came over, to see what was the matter.

After that, no one separated Hematite and Onyx.


Onyx got the idea in her cute little black head with the floppy red comb that she, after her winter in the house, needed to lay her tiny white eggs in the bathroom. Nothing would do with the nest boxes in the henhouse. She'd fuss about them, scream about them... we decided, after comparing the size of the egg (she laid every other day) and the size of the bird, that the eggs must have really bad cramps along with them. Mama and I sympathized.

So Hematite and Onyx would hop up onto the steps and wait until someone opened the screen door, and jump in the house.

One day, the door was completely closed, and Onyx wanted to come in. Narcissa and Mama and I were doing something, when there was a disturbance at the window by the couch. Silly little Onyx was trying to perch on the moulding of the outside of the picture window, and not doing a very good job, as it was so narrow. She beat her wings against the window, trying to keep her balance.

We rushed to the door to tell Onnie to get her fool self off the window ledge before she bashed her silly little head against the glass. As we swept aside the screen door, Hematite jumped up, and a few moments later, Onyx came running around the corner and leaped in the house after Hematite.

It got to be a habit for them, after that. Onyx would knock on the window, and Hematite would wait around the corner at the door, to distract the person from closing the door until Onyx got inside.
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