Grandma Hen, may she rest in peace, used to say that every year about the beginning of March, when there would be a thaw and all the chicks would get all hepped up about winter ending. She knew that in Canada – even here in the southernmost part – the weather plays hide-and-seek until at least the beginning of April.
Spring is no lady, you see. In fact, she is a dreadful tease.
This year, even the robins were fooled.
Two of Mother Hen’s distant red-breasted relatives were quarrelling on the coop-yard fence posts yesterday about that very thing.
“Walter, I told you it was too soon to come North, but noooo…’the groundhog said’ you said…”
“Grover Groundhog is a top-notch authority on climate change, and he stated unequivocally that it would be six weeks until spring. Six weeks: February 2nd to February 9th, February 9th to…”
“Don’t you dare start counting on your feathers again! Look around Walt, and tell me what you see.”
“I saw grass just the other day, and the daffodils were starting to…”
“NOW Walter, what do you see NOW?”
“Okay, so it is a bit white, but I’m sure that by next week it will be spring.”
“By next week I will have frozen half my tail feathers off, Walt. Half! I haven’t even had a chance to start a nest!”
“Gladys, I’m sure you will be fine. Robins are a hardy species who have lasted thousands of years, since the days of our ancestors…”
“Don’t you dare start a history lesson with me, mister! You want to hear about thousands? I just flew thousands of miles with a belly full of eggs, I’m due any time, and I want spring now!”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Mrs. Gladys then puffed up, spread her wings, and took one more shot.
“You call yourself a leader! There’s an election coming up, and I am hereby announcing my candidacy for Head Robin!” She then achieved lift-off.
“Hormones!” muttered Mr. Walter.
“I can still hear you! “
Now, some of you more delicate hens might make a case that Mother Hen should not have been eavesdropping, or more accurately, fence post dropping, but she could hardly have avoided hearing the screeching and squawking outside when her head was resting against the coop wall.
Anyway, a diligent reporter must always be alert for the latest news. Who knows, they could have been spies for the Bunnies United Delivery Service (BUDS). One never knows, does one?