So the deal with Chicken Cocktail Hour is that I have quite deliberately tried to encourage the girls to jump up in our laps when we’re out supervising their free range time. I bribe them with treats and Dolley and Bess jump right up, and Abigail and Eleanor at least come nearby. The idea is that I want the birds to be comfortable being handled, and besides, it’s fun.
Inevitably, however, we end up bringing out drinks, hors d’ourves, etc. for ourselves, and of course the birds are interested in that, too. Normally I consider it to be totally awful parenting to allow your pet to get anywhere near the dinner table, but in my defense, the whole thing did start with a desire to have them around, and the fact that we bring food outside is our own fault. So we give them a little crust of bread and usually they’re satisfied and they wander off.
Tonight we had a rather elaborate spread on our newly-installed Chicken Cocktail Table (see photo) that included pizza, salad, cheese, crackers, and, of course, martinis. The girls made attempts at some of those items, which we were able to deflect, but at one point Bess jumped up and dipped her beak right into Scott’s martini.
Oh my god, you have never seen anything quite so funny. What a surprised little bird she was! How I wish I had had my camera. Perhaps some artist out there will do an artist’s rendering of the event for me; I’d be happy to post it.
Bess shook her little head vigorously and drops of Beefeater went flying from her beak. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Scott laugh so hard. We told her: No more liquor until you’ve laid your first egg. You’re still a kid.
If any of you parents out there have wondered whether we would give your children alcohol when they come to spend their summer vacations with us, well, I guess you have your answer.