Mother Hen looks out from her tree-nest at one of her chicks (complete with telescope and eye patch) sailing across a puddle in a small blue boat. A mini poultry piracy expedition.

Eye patches are not often seen as poultry accessories. For that matter, neither are telescopes or sailing boats. This little chick is doing its part to make up for that. Sailing the high puddles in circles during fierce rain storms in search of lost treasure or perhaps worms to eat. Four other chicks peek out from underneath the dismayed Mother Hen’s warm feathers.

Having previously looked after chooks, I have had first-hand experience with bad tempered, over-protective roosters that launch attacks at any opportunity. Two such roosters at one point, fought among themselves resulting in the loss of an eye in one.

We got rid of the victor* and kept the slightly (and sightly) damaged one, but it remained quite violent and would often fly talons first at whoever ventured into the yard / coop to distribute feed.

I often thought that it could have done with an eye patch to cover its unsightly (ok that wasn’t intended) socket. It could then have passed for a pirate.

The loss of an eye for this bird did have one advantage for the person feeding the brood. It was now possible to sneak up on the rooster’s blind side and try to stay on that one side so as to avoid detection. This often meant walking round in circles as the rooster continually turned in an attempt to get a visual on the intruder he could hear.

It had been a while since I had done a drawing that didn’t have solid black outlines, so this was a nice change and possibly added to the cuteness of the chicks, making them look a little more delicate.

* Victor, meaning the victorious rooster. This wasn’t his name.