Cleaning the interior of the fur-lined Munsonmobile is not something that is done regularly or with great enthusiasm. When we’re not doing a road-trip, it only gets used for weekly shopping trips or more irregular errands. However as spring approaches, the accumulation of hair and farm dirt is becoming more visible and the inevitable need has become immediate – hastened on by the imminent arrival of two guests over the next two weeks.
What I’ve never had the benefit of before, are swarms of free-range chickens to clean off the floor-mats. You can also see Tosca mooching around the back as she is now the chickens’ primary competitor for crumbs or even dirty dishwater cast from the kitchen window. I would have been quite happy for the birds to jump in and clean where the vacuum cleaner’s crevice attachment will not reach, but they didn’t take the opportunity.
Over the last week Munson has been out playing with Legend for long stretches, and I’ve been very heartened that he’s paid little attention to the chickens grazing only a short distance away. A year of acclimatization to them running around in view of the terrace has really paid off. I’ve been trying to get some good photos of him with the chooks for about a week now, but he avoids them more often than not, looking away unless they’re being particularly squawksome.
He will occasionally give chase if Legend runs after them or if he sees some of the inter-galline battles between hens or cockerels, and then it’s for play rather than prey. For the most part he’s much more interested in playing with Legend or the four kittens, although if one of the hens wanders up to him he will as the kids say, try to “sniff its butt”. When he does set off it’s now easy to recall him by name or with a stern no!
The other big factor in his development is simply that he’s growing up – he’ll be four years old in April – and he’s a much more mature fellow than he was when we set out from Australia in 2010. His new domestic skills are underlined by his neighbourly visits to the Munsoneers’ all-weather play house, although he may a little over-optimistic about the quality of the food coming from its kitchen.