Friday, March 7, 2008
Chicks, Man Pt. 2: Goodstone Inn, Middleburg, VA
The Goodstone Inn sits a few miles outside of Middleburg, VA, on 265 acres of farmland. Stunningly pastoral landscape. Three horses laze on the farm along with a peep of 50 hens that warm the hay in a small, red house by an old dairy barn.
Brian, the English inn manager, takes me inside the gate to the hen house. Lines of electrified wire ominously wrap the top of the fence because, "Fuxes luv chickens," he garbles in his authentic brogue. As soon as we step inside, the hens go nuts. Well, in a henny kind of way. They are all chanting in harmony, like sacred harp singers from the Wiregrass of South Alabama. Cries of alarm. They believe we are coming to get their eggs. I only stand inside the fence for a few minutes, but several of these hens waddle up repeatedly and peck my feet. (Yes, Clever McCleverson. I am hen-pecked.) They want me the hell away from their unborn babies.
I am a perceived threat--much larger than a fox--and they keep their beady black eyes on me the whole time.