What was first: the chicken or the egg?

I put the crate in front of her nest on the terrace behind the kitchen, and make an inviting gesture: “Come, Carolina, just pop in!” No reaction.
She looks curiously at me, but remains where she is, sitting comfortably.

“Come on, Carolina! Lazy chicken, you! Hophop, chopchop, that’s a good exercise, just hop in your crate! ” Again no response, but she’s watching curiously.
“Hey, what about that? So, you’re not a hophopchopchopchicken? ”

When she finally gets up, I see something brown. Look at that! An egg!

That was earlier than expected. Chicken Carolina hasn’t recovered, and remains kind of paralyzed. I say kind of, because she can use her right leg, but she can’t stand on it anymore. If she wants to start walking, or well, hopscotch, she does it in a cartoon-like way: first make a lot of walking gestures, and then finally a hop. Except when she sees lettuce. Then it goes a little faster. Watch:

We are used to it. But that egg, that’s new, I didn’t expect an egg

Carolina has gained a great position because of her handicap. She gets corn, lettuce, banana, tomato, and lives behind the kitchen. She comes in in the evening. That’s warmer. It’s not a cold winter, but she can’t crawl against her sisters to stay nice and warm, like the other three, who live in the official chicken coop.

“Come on, girl, it is still a little too cold to stay out. If you stay here, your eggs’ll freeze! – and that’s something, only people do, freeze their eggs! ” (It is 15º; text from a worried mother …)

I had bought the other three chickens as company (with a nice encore) but the chicken society is very complicated. That is why chicken Carolina has become a Care Bear-chicken, and resides behind the kitchen.

It’s also my favourite spot to have breakfast – if possible.

Above 10 º you can see me enjoying my coffee and my boiled egg here in the morning, with Carolina as company. You can say a lot of nonsense to a chicken; she purrs back in her own, chickeney way.

So, we have good conversations during breakfast.

The egg was not the only surprise

The next day there was not only another egg, but there were also two big snails in her plate. “Hold on! Where do you come from, that fast? ” I asked myself in surprise, because I’d been there half an hour ago, and then they were nowhere in sight. And everyone knows that snails are not the fastest.

Now I have a vegetable garden nearby, where my arugula, celery, red lettuce and spinach are currently flourishing, so I hate snails. Fortunately they aren’t those nasty slugs (they’re really scary). These are actually cute with those little houses on their backs, but they just take a bite of everything and leave your plants behind with holes in them, everywhere. You can’t serve that, it’s not very goodlooking on your plate. And there they suddenly were on Carolina’s plate.


“Where do you suddenly come from?” I ask in astonishment, “are you turbo snails or something?”

You never see them, no matter how much I weed and spy. And now they’ve suddenly crossed a whole piece of garden and then terrace, and even crossed the straw. Odd. I grab the one, but his house is apparently not that strong because it breaks. “Sorry!” because it’s not my intention to kill him, “your lime level is not high enough, snail, you have to eat more eggs.” And I throw it as far away as I can, in the tall grass on the other side of the ditch. The other immediately follows.

Now I’m curious

Can snails swim? And how do they know where to go? Would they regard this as a pleasant holiday destination? And the question we started with: about the chicken and the egg?

All questions that you are left with …. nature’s all mystery.

All though we know what was first: the chicken of course!



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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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