On our Trolley
It was a foggy morning as we set off for The Big Show. We arrived in good time though, just as it was getting light and us boys stretched ourselves and let Mum and Dad know we were awake. We were loaded onto the Trolley in our boxes - slightly disappointed at the Wine having been removed - and peered out of the window slits that Dad had fashioned for us.
We were put in our allocated cages and Dad gave us a drink and some food. We looked around at all the other birds and ducks in the show - there were hundreds and hundreds! And so many people admiring us all. What was so interesting was that there were new Sebright friends to chat to - and we tried tracing our family trees back and found that many of us were related - some more distantly than others, but it was really great to hear about their homes and families. We told them about our life at Wattlebury and realised that it was a lot colder where some of them lived - we should think ourselves lucky! Some had strange accents and we had trouble at first understanding them, but soon we were all chattering as if we had known each other all our lives.
Don admires the ladies in the pens opposite
The time came for Judging and Dad had told us what to expect and we tried to remember all that he had taught us. The Judge was kind and quite handsome and studied us very carefully. Don and I were each lucky enough to get a Prize Card, and so were Sylvester and Syd. Sadly Dora and Nora had some pretty smart-looking girls up against them and just missed out on the prizes. Ila and Mannfred got some Cards too - they were in a different hall to us, being a different breed, and we heard all about the new friends that they had talked to when we met up again after the Show. Our Club had their Meeting on Saturday and after that the Big Prizes were awarded.
A very pretty Silver pullet had been chosen as The Best Sebright and she was whisked away to a special cage at the top of the Big Hall. There was a Special Judge who studied all of the Best Birds and he picked the Sebright as Best True Bantam. Her Dad was so excited as he watched nervously from behind the taped-off area. We couldn't see what was going on from where we were, but Mum kept us informed. We were all so excited! Next was to pick the Supreme Champion from the different section winners. And her Dad was pacing up and down between the cages - until! Yes! The Important Judge picked his Silver Sebright as winner at The Big Show! Her Dad was congratulated and kissed and patted on the back and the beautiful little Sebright looked proudly out of her huge cage at the other 6,092 competitors that she had just beaten. What a truly wonderful day. I can't wait to tell my Uncle Gordon and Auntie Sylvia. Love Ron xxx
Nora after her bath
The Selection has been made! There are eight places to be filled and Dad has been studying our feathers in the minutest detail.
Finally he announced (in reverse order) his choice. And we all congratulated our lucky friends and relatives. I am thrilled to say that two of my nephews and two of my nieces have been chosen! Ron and Don, and Dora and Nora! Sylvia told me that her friend Sylvester, and his son Syd have also
Ron looks indignant in the shower
been picked. Along with Ila and Mannfred, two Rumpy friends whose relatives came from the Isle of Mann.
They had to go to Wattlebury Cottage for a bath and then were dried with a chicken-sized leaf-blower. Now they are in special pens so that they keep clean and they will have to get a good night's sleep as it will be a very early start tomorrow.
Good Luck to you all! Gordon and Sylvia xxx
Ten White Pigeons in the Fog
The week started out foggy and yet it has stayed mild. Today was really quite warm and we are making the most of the last remaining (probably) vestige of sunshine. We spotted ten white pigeons flying through the foggy sky on Monday. A strange contrast between their snowy white bodies and the pale grey air.
Which one of us will be chosen?
But the real excitement has been 'The Selection!' Dad has been talking to us about a Big Show coming up soon and if we are smart enough he has promised to take one or two of us along! How exciting is that? I know that it is highly unlikely that Sylvia or I will be chosen - but I like to think we can help get the lucky ones prepared for their outing. So we set about posture training with the pullets and cockerels balancing
-- And Truffle sulked off into the barn
acorns on their heads. Of course some won't be in the running - Neddie and Seagoon, for example. Their coats are the shiniest of all - with a beautiful fine stranding of gold entwined in the midnight black - ah well!
And Truffle was mighty put out too and huffed her way back into the barn when the news was broken to her that she hadn't quite made the grade. Nothing that a chocolate eclair won't fix though, I'm sure! Gordon xx
It is a drizzly and drearsome morning. Lois' friend Margery Magpie was sitting on her back, gently plucking some loose hairs. The Oak trees have succombed to the weather
and turned into flame orange balls amongst the dull and darkened hedgerows. The footpath, although damp, is alight with the reds and yellows and oranges of the fallen leaves. How strange that the trees moult just like us at this time of the year. The nettles and thistles are shrinking back into the ground and the ditch that runs along the footpath is appearing once again - just in time for the winter rain. We picked at our corn and wondered what we could get up to today. The Rosecomb Gang sat under the Water Tower in the relative shelter of the last precious green leaves and we decided that it was a moochy sort of day. A neither here nor there sort of day. Hey Ho. Gordon xxx
Mum has been hobbling along for two weeks now. She came home limping after her Big Day Out as her posh boots definately weren't made for walking.
"It's my toe, Gordon", she explained.
Well, at the beginning of last week she was getting along a lot better - save for the piece of corn that found it's way into the welly boot, until on Friday evening in a mad supermarket dash she stubbed the same ailing toe on the trolley.
"By George Gordon! That hurt!"
Who is George?
So we set about making her a walking stick. Neddie and Seagoon were sent off in search of a straight sapling or branch, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It had to be Holly, Ash or Thorn. But we warned them that Hedgers say it is unlucky to cut Holly, so it must be pulled out, rather than cut. We told them to show Dad the piece and he would help. Holly is a very solid wood and can make a dangerous weapon.
Ideally, we told them before they set out, if they could find a stick that has tendrils of wild honeysuckle twined round it, it will have an interesting spiral effect.
When the stick has been found it needs trimming to the length required - so that it is a comfortable fit. We asked Mum to stand against the Lamp Post in the yard and Truffle nipped around the back and made a note of the height. You can strip the bark, but it looks better left on. If you want a curved handle, choose a more pliable wood and bend and tie it firmly - then leave it for about 6 months. Trim it to a neat curve, then sandpaper to a smooth finish. Season your Walking Stick by leaving for about 2 - 3 months before waxing or varnishing it. It should be just about ready for Mum to take with her to the Big City next year! Gordon xxx
We had great fun last night. Not many of us had to dress up - Mrs White made a wonderful Ghost and Mrs Black and Mrs One Eye were suitably attired in sleek black. The Rosecombs pretended to be Bats (much to the annoyance of Mrs Batty) and Neddie and Seagoon went Trick or Treating. We warned them not to throw any eggs as they are in short supply at this time of the year. Mrs Pippy looked Grave. Binny looked Cross. Harvest did the Crypt-ic crossword puzzle. And Mickey told us the most awful joke about a farmer that his Great-uncle knew. He reared a Capon for his Halloween supper - and called the poor creature Dracula!
Glad that night's over for another year! Sylvia and Gordon xxx
Hello! My name is Gordon and I am a Gold Sebright and my best friend is Sylvia. She is a Silver Sebright. We live with our foster parents on a small farm in the country. We thought that we would put our take on life and what we get up to through the year into a diary for you. All the characters are real and the events are a true record, interpreted with a modicum of poetic licence. We hope you enjoy it. Love Gordon and Sylvia