Mr Neat has a new girlfriend. Actually he has four plus some old girls.
Whenever he's near them they follow him everywhere. He talks to them, prepares their meals and talks about them constantly.
There's Lilly, Milly, Gaggle and . . . can't remember the fourth chick's name and not sure what the old calls are called. Oh yes one's called Bully because she likes to be at the top of the pecking order and another one is called Penguin.
Mr Neat is very proud of his top four girls because every morning they leave him a little gift.
I'm sure you have guessed by now that the "girls" are chickens.
There was much excitement when it was time to pick up the four new ones. Mr Neat set out with a cage in the boot and three children in the car.
They discussed names on the way and decided on them once they had them safely on board.
I was a little surprised to hear that they detoured on the way home to get ice cream. Not for the chickens of course. They had to stay in the cage while ice creams were selected and paid for.
Then it was home for "the girls".
They were separated from the other hens and clucked away while they explored their new home.
When it was nearly dark Mr Neat said "I'm going out to put the girls in their house to roost". Really, I said. Can't they get in there by themselves? Apparently not.
The next morning when I got up there were four eggs on the bench. I laughed.
"Whatever," I said. "You got those out of the fridge."
"I did not," Mr Neat said. "The girls laid them", he said beaming with pride.
And they had and they have done so every day since which is really making the old girls look bad because none of them have laid an egg in weeks.
But they are pretty, especially Penguin the black and white speckled little bantam. Still, they need to start earning their keep.
Mr Neat has had words with them but to no avail.
So for just over a week, the young ones were put to bed every night and let out in the morning.
Then it was time to introduce them to the older ones.
Would they get pecked to bits by the older hens? As it turned out, apart from Bully who had a peck or two at them, there haven't been any issues.
It's funny though as the four newbies stick together in a group. Except of course when the food comes out — then it's every hen for herself as they run behind Mr Neat, heads bobbing and feet flying.
Their food scraps are all cut into bite-sized pieces— I'm not kidding. He stands at the bench for ages chopping apples and broccoli stalks into tiny pieces.
Then the food must be placed in a certain way — in lines, so they can all get a chance to eat without fighting.
Those girls have sure landed on their feet.