Mike & Nikki

One of the problems with having so many animals is they bind you to the property. It would be so much easier if when we go away I could just prepare their meals, leave them on a shelf for them to pop in the microwave and feed themselves. But no such luck. Kete mewls at the window. The ducks clacker around the taps where their bowl of food is kept (a white Wedgewood bowl, no less), the chooks are too stupid to let themselves in and out of their Hilton House and would take up residence on the verandas, and Ki would run back to Farmer John’s woolshed never to be seen at Redbank again.

The pigs, you ask? The pigs, Eddie and Pats, are now in the freezers. They grew to such an enormous size that it was with great difficulty I lifted even one ham into the car, let alone the bags of diced pork, chops, slices, bags and bags of bacon, numerous salami, two heads, trotters (for delicious hot and spicey Caribbean stew), and other ham. So now they feed us.

So the point I am arriving at is, when we go away for more than one day, we have to get house sitters, or animal sitters, and that is where our Wellington friends, Mike & Nikki, come into play. Both senior journalists, Mike writes for North & South magazine, and Nikki for the Dominion Post. Mike is also an amazing photographer and when they stayed here at Easter, he took some beautiful photographs, some of which I will put on here in a future post, although it won’t do the photos justice.

But this post is to announce that the latest two arrivals to our menagerie hatched while Mike & Nikki were here at Easter. I had allowed Pip to sit on two of her own eggs (remember she hatched a duck, Star) and she’s so happy to have two of her own babies – purebred Silkie bantams, which we have named Mike & Nikki. They are so cute, peeping and flitting around the place now. She parades them all over the property, under the grapevines, through the gardens, protecting them from the hawks. It was almost impossible to get photos of them because she won’t let me get close, but here they are:

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