My friend Flapper.

MY FRIEND FLAPPER… Looking out the kitchen window I saw two lost starving chooks propping each other up as they waddled down the middle of the road. I flew out the kitchen door and the chooks veered into a neighbour’s carport, which made it very easy for me to pick them up.

With one miserable looking chook under each arm, I returned home. It was difficult blending the rescued chooks into the well-established family of two backyard chooks.

From that day the action I had taken was set to change my life in ways one could not even imagine. My backyard chooks had a good happy home life but the two new street chooks seemed to have an instant connection with me.

The smaller dark Isa brown chook became my Lap chook who loved sitting there while I knitted. Years later, that was where she passed away.

My other rescued chook was a larger honey colour crossbreed chook. I called her Flapper. Guess you can say, she flapped her wings a lot. I needed company to go out with and she was ready to go anywhere at the drop of a hat. She never had to worry about what she was wearing, hair or make up. She always kept an eye on the car and kitchen door, hoping an outing was coming.

Flapper and I became very well-known at coffee shops, beach locations (especially Point Lonsdale on Tuesday mornings), playgrounds and parks. Her calm confident attitude promoted conversation with people, and children loved seeing her. She was introduced to many dogs. Newspapers, magazines, a radio station and even Channel 9 made a feature of her. She even had a love affair with a horse, and that was amazing to watch. I loved taking her to visit the horse at Mannerim Stables and see the horse come running to her.

Flapper loved all sorts of rides, the best one being the sky wheel in Geelong. She could ride in a canoe and her latest outstanding activity was skateboard riding. How good is that?

The understanding between us developed over time, it was immeasurable. Flapper was my best friend, loved listening to me, looked into my eyes and I knew she understood. Flapper became a Celebrity Chook and very well known for all her social skills, outings, and invited to clubs as a guest. It was always a joy to take her out, feeling proud of my well behaved, toilet trained Flapper chook. She was also known as a photographic model, and knew how to hold a pose.

As years passed by the backyard chook family grew. I always had an expression of “There is always room for one more” but Flapper never had to battle for attention, she was No 1.

As the years have flown by and I have no family or connections, one does really feel the loneliness. She owned the front seat, no other chook dared to think about it. If so, they got the powerful chook stare. End of story. Flapper has been my best mate, always there for me, loved all the special treats like ice cream, chocolate and cakes as I do.

I am sorry to say this story has a sad ending.

My Flapper has given me the best part of ten years of constant companionship. She passed away quietly by my side.

You can watch Elaine & Flapper’s video

Story and photo: Elaine Janes October 2020.