Portrait Gallery 111



Little older than a pullet when first rescued, her tiny beak was cut half way off and a rope tied so tightly on her leg it had grown into her flesh.  In the months and years that followed, this little hen gave so much fun, laughter and love to adults and children alike, all without knowing she was doing so. 

Penny would usually begin her daily chores with a perfectly formed egg, then set about clearing the garden of snails and unwanted bugs. To watch Penny suddenly eyeball a worm or insect of interest was intriguing and amusing to watch. Jumping forward with both legs and with large nails digging into the ground, she would drag each foot backwards one at a time until her nemesis was exposed. How formidable and precise the act of ‘scratching’ is. I’ve since watched many chickens do this and it’s simply amazing the exacting skill that is required between mind and body. Chickens are born with astounding knowledge, something the lowly human can only endeavor to equal or match.  

Penny taught me a lot about courage and living one day at a time. Two things, doubtless I will never achieve the way she did. Despite the abuse and pain she suffered in her early life, she never showed us anything but love and affection. Since meeting and loving this hen, I’ve stopped eating chicken or anything with chicken in it. I am very proud of that and owe it all to the extraordinary Penny and all the chickens I have met and loved since.


Yvonne Backman