Last weekend, one of my mother’s two chickens was brutally mauled to death by a small sausage dog called Geoffrey. Read about that HERE.

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In six months prior to this chicken murder, however, neither chicken had managed to lay an egg. They just clucked quietly to themselves in the hen house and idly pottered about Mum’s garden scratching for worms.

We were a bit worried that the one remaining chicken, who we shall call the Survivor, would be traumatised after the murder – that she’d take to her bed in the hen house and never come out again.

AND YET, last night my mother texted me big news: ‘SHE’S LAID AN EGG!’ said the text message. It came with the picture at the top of the page. The brown egg is a fake rubbery one that my mother bought from a Sussex toy shop and put in the hen house to encourage the chickens to get on with it and lay their own. The white egg, with authentic bottom feather, is the one the Survivor has laid.

‘Have 2 new friends for her,’ added my mother. ‘I had to spray scent on them all before I put them together so they don’t fight (Clarins).’

So there you have it. The Survivor has bounced back from the murder and laid her first ever egg, and my mum has been spraying two new chickens with expensive French scent so they all get along.