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Bombay, in turn, started chasing a chicken named Bonny, an impassive creature
with sensible white feathers and a black ruff at the base of her neck. Slowly we
realised that just because Bonny wasn’t a duck, this did not stop Bombay from
taking a shine to her,
Her aggressive suitor made Bonny increasingly alarmed, Svenson furious, and
Bombay very frustrated.
On occasion, Bombay would hurtle out of the duck enclosure while I had the gate
open and immediately rush after Bonny, leading to a Benny Hill-style chase,
involving a chicken, followed by a duck, followed by a cockerel, followed by me.
I would like to say that, following these incidents, peace would return to our little
corner of Kent, except that a garden full of chickens and ducks is hardly ever likely
to be tranquil. Just ask Svenson.
She also wanted ducks, and so that same summer we
acquired two Indian Runners — the long-bodied and
upright variety which look like wine-bottles on legs. We
named the drake Bombay and the female Crispy.
The garden was soon buzzing with testosterone as Svenson puffed himself up and
began stomping after Bombay, once even yanking out a couple of his rival’s neck
feathers.