Memories of Magoo and the chooks

Published on 26 September 2023 at 10:57

Cat Magoo at Seeds & Cereals in Mastorton, September 2016.

I don't know about you but I love Facebook memories popping up, even if they are not the happiest ones. They can be inspiring for a project I am working, on inspire new stories or just provide a nostalgic place for a while.

The photo above is of Magoo taken seven years ago on the 24th of September. You could always depend on seeing his friendly face while doing a chook provisions run at Seeds & Cereals in Masterson, the largest town of the Wairarapa.

Map of the south of New Zealand, including the towns of the Wairarapa.

The Wairarapa region in the southeast of the North Island.

Although Magoo seemed friendly in an environment designed to cater for chooks, our cat Wilma did not care for them at all. On the contrary. Whereas young Prince was always in a mission to get into the chookyard Wilma couldn't stay far enough away. Here's what she says about my decision to get some chooks in the book My Name is Wilma.

Kirsten said to Wim, “They need to be sturdy chooks, otherwise Prince might kill them.” Kill them… Ha! She obviously knew nothing about chickens. I bumped into chickens all the time on my expeditions around town. The people up the road had chooks, mama mia, the first time I encountered one it was a near miss. For me, mind you. I have no interest in slaughtering chickens. And Prince, he might be foolish enough to try, but even he would only try once.

Kirsten sketched a map of a small run attached to a chook house that fitted in one of her raised veggie beds. She said to Wim that she would keep the chooks on that exact spot for one or two months, then move it to the next raised bed where the obliging chickens would fertilise her garden while being perfectly happy to stay inside the run. Ha!

After reading a hundred books, Kirsten went on the hunt for Barnevelders, a sturdy Dutch chicken breed but she could not find any in our area. She had met this lady at a poultry show whose father was going to breed Barnevelders but some kind of disaster happened, so Kirsten turned to the internet and found Precious Poultry up north who sold all kinds of chicken breeds. She ordered three Barnevelder hens on-point-of-lay. Ha!

My humans had a few weeks to prepare. They first made the veggie garden cat-proof and I sadly watched Wim put some chicken wire on top of the corrugated iron fence as it made the arrival of the chooks seem so definite. They needn’t have bothered on my account. No way was I going to spend time with those ferocious animals. On account of Prince, it was a wise move. Kirsten took out the remaining veggies from the most sheltered raised bed and put the new chook house there. The run just fitted.

At the end of summer, I thought the veggie beds were at their most gorgeous. I loved watching the white butterflies circle the zucchini, the late tomatoes and lettuces. On the bed where the chook house was going only a couple of sage bushes needed to be rereplanted. I had to credit the chooks for not eating that nauseating stuff. I hated the smell of it too. On the seed box, leeks had gone to seed. I loved watching all the insects land and feast on these. All this beauty waiting for demolition.

If you'd like to read more about Wilma and her hopeless humans, you can buy her stories as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.

Would you rather read Wilma's adventures in a paperback or in another type of ebook. Let me know!

There is also a Dutch paperback available on Click on the link below to order:

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