The storm in W.A.

I am not referring to the carbon tax, pollies and prostitutes…or even an alleged slip by Slippers.

No, I am referring to the storm that swept through the suburbs of Perth, Australia.

When my children were younger , they tended to be nervous around animals. Dogs made them pull back in alarm…and feathered birds made them shudder. The cure for this nervousness was to introduce dogs into the home. Now they are so used to them they even let them sleep on their beds.

Later we added chickens. These are now part of the family, and are picked and played with every day.

Now over the last few days we have had a mini tornado and heavy rains with frighteningly high winds. Our chickens are called Gertie, Valerie, and Priscilla.

They were quickly locked away in the pen when the rain lashed down. But the high winds had them worried.

They gathered together clucking and pecking towards sky. They seemed frightened but this was a ploy to see if they would be allowed free to roam the house or even the garage.

Valerie is the ring leader and after bullying her gang , made her leap for escape out of the pen. Gertie joined the race for freedom but a little fatter and slower, found the going tough. A sudden gust of wind lifted Valerie over the fence and into a new world.

Gertie missed her chance and was swept into the shed…or to be correct…between the shed and the garage (a very small space).

Priscilla, ever the princess, climbed out of the pen and like Houdini crawled low through the grass and safely into the garage. She remained there unhurt by the winds and dry and warm slept through the storm.

The dogs meanwhile decided to bark loudly at the thunder and lightning until a clatter from the falling TV aerial sent them hiding under the bed.

This was the time for heroic action. And with much encouragement from the kids, I sent my wife out to rescue the birds. She hurdled the neighbours fence in an Olympic style, she gathered up Valerie.

Soaking wet and clucking loudly she was deposited in the garage. Valerie that is…not the wife.

Next she had to climb on the shed roof and with a long broom, hook up Gertie and drag her to freedom in the garden.

Priscilla seemed disturbed to wake up and find two bedraggled wet co-horts squeezing up to her in the garage.

A drowned wife returned to the house to cheers from the kids, who managed to tear themselves away from their iPods, to welcome home a mum with fairly straight faces.

It was one of the worst storms we have seen in years. It made me think of what advice I would give to families looking to bring animals into their homes.

My only advice is to make sure mum can cope during bad weather. My kids said the chickens got too wet and shouldn’t we buy some ducks.

Mum said she was having a bath…and tomorrow we would have chicken soup.

by TOG

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