Fi munched on her toast as she drove the Landy up the track. It was 5.30 and her girls would need letting out.
The night before, Ben had called her out of the farmhouse to see the light travelling north to south over the valley, but she hadn’t made it in time. She’d suggested it was another bloody lantern let go by some townie on the brow of the old fort, and railed against further vet’s bills if another cow got wire in her gullet.
‘Irresponsible gits’ she thought as she pulled up beside the ark. All looked okay along the fence-line; no tell-tale signs of foxy getting in. The silo was three-quarters’ full, and the wind turbine turned freely, keeping the power on.
Opening the outer doors, she saw the neatly stacked egg-boxes by the picker armature. All system lights were running, and the background hum confirmed the machinery was okay.
‘Imagination, girl,’ she thought. Only …
‘Why aren’t they making any noise?’
Opening the inner door, Fi became the focus of two thousand hens’ eyes. All of them looking, and none of them moving with their usual curiosity. It was as if …
‘You're losing it; get a grip.’
The door slid silently shut behind her, and two thousand hens’ eyes blinked as one.