The Eaglets Have Landed
This morning, when I went to check on the chick situation, I found half an eggshell and a mama hen all puffed up and defensive, like no way was she going to let me look under her to see what was going on. I didn’t hear any peeping yet.
When I looked in at lunchtime, I could hear peeping and there was another two halves of eggshell (one from the first egg, the second from the second), so I cleared those away as well. I mentioned this to Spouse when he arrived to eat and he just marched in there and dug around until he extracted a chick… a fuzzy little black one! The he extracted the second… a fuzzy little brown/orange one! Then he gently lifted the remaining egg, without shaking or turning it (because apparently you really shouldn’t mess with the eggs between day 17 and when they hatch (day 21), because it’s easy to deliver a fatal jostle at this stage when all the organs are finalizing themselves). It was still whole. I’d told him I could hear pecking on the two others yesterday and last year I’d been able to hear cheeping the day before our one chick hatched (RIP Little Chick, taken at 12 weeks old by the goshawk last December). So he held it up right next to his enormous ear. Which must have been a terrifying experience viewed from the inside of the egg, because the chick inside let out such a shriek that I could hear it vividly from where I was standing, several feet away.
Spouse, thrilled as pickles, put the egg gently back under the hen, but I spent the whole afternoon worrying that with a shriek like that we’d somehow done the poor thing in. We ate our lunch. We went off to but baby chicken food and a few other needed supplies (food for humans). Then Spouse decided to take a back road over to the organic farm where he buys some slices of salami and maybe some sausages every week. This back road, which I had not been down before, literally took my breath away, it was so narrow. Every time an oncoming car approached, we both had to slow right down and drive with passenger side tires more than a foot off the edge of the pavement. But the last car did not do that (it didn’t slow down either). I heard Spouse, who was driving, curse and then BAM! There went the driver’s side mirror. And now Spouse was LIVID. He threw the car into reverse, crunched over one of the pieces that had flown off of the mirror, and stopped when he got to the other car.
“Don’t shout,” I told him, when he got out. Because if there is one thing I would change about Spouse is that he can go volcanic and even though he would never progress past shouting, the shouting can be shocking (more shocking if you know him than if you don’t, because if you haven’t seem him do it, you wouldn’t expect he had it in him). Then I left to pick up the pieces fifty feet further on, where the impact had occurred, before someone else came and drove over them some more.
The tire tracks confirmed my impression. Our passenger side tires at the point of impact were a foot and a half off the road. The other car left no tracks on the side of the road on its side. It was clearly their fault.
But I never made it back to where Spouse and the other driver were talking. Because by the time I’d retrieved the parts from our car mostly intact (luckily the mirror itself is just chrome on plastic, instead of an actual mirror, although even that was spiderwebbed from the impact) and what turned out to a part from the other car, crunched into three pieces (I think this is what Spouse reversed over), Spouse had not only not shouted at the confused little old lady, who was also flustered by her GPS navigator, never mind the little accident, he had told her it was okay, he didn’t need her insurance details, and then he’d driven over to pick me up. And she was gone.
“Um,” I said, “you know this is at least a 500 euro repair, right?”
“Tja,” he said, sadly. “Sometimes I’m too good for this world.” But he didn’t mean it as a boast.
Then when I told him most of the parts were still in one piece, he pulled over and checked to see if the electronics still worked and, miracle of miracles, not only could the plate that holds the mirror still move when you pressed the buttons, the blinker light right at the outer edge of the contraption had survived the impact and still went blink! blink! when you indicated. So we snapped the whole thing back together and nothing was missing (so the clearly snapped bits must have come from her mirror). All that needs replacing is the spiderwebbed mirror plate, so I’d guess that knocks this down to more like a 35 to 50 euro repair. Phew. As the Germans like to say, once again we had luck in bad luck.
We finished running errands and made it home without further mishap. Then I went and watered at the neighbor’s again because the husband is still not home. So I guess instead of coming home a few days before his wife so their friends can borrow the RV, they are both coming home on Monday…? I hope nothing bad has happened. Spouse says someone would have called, though (but I don’t know about that. Her son and his family, whom they are house sitting for, are off in Greece on vacation or something like that, presumably until Sunday. And, anyway, who has our number? Only she does. The husband doesn’t really do telecommunicating.)
Then I watered our garden because it was hot today and the east wind is so crazy dry, my cute little baby artichokes were toppled over and hanging like earrings, even though I soaked the enormous pot through yesterday evening and everything else in the garden was also screaming, if more silently.
Then we checked in with the chick situation and there was a new half an eggshell! Spouse dug around and pulled out a very dazed, very unfluffy chick that must have hatched only minutes before. Yay!
So that’s three for three of the surviving eggs!!!!! We are absolutely giddy with relief (I thought for sure the rats would get all the eggs). Also the chicks are the cutest things ever, especially the little coal black one.
Pix tomorrow or the next day, once the little fluff balls start wandering around out from under the mama chicken.