Tales from a Cyprus Village Coffee Shop
Sunday 05/06/2022

Tales from a Cyprus Village Coffee Shop

The Chicken

“ You’re probably wondering why I have called this meeting today,”is the caption suggested by a friend for this photograph.

I did not really take much notice when someone said to me that a hen was wandering about in the courtyard. “Her owner will come and reclaim her,” I said to myself. But he didn’t. The hen made herself more at home. I found her squatting in a flower bed under the pine trees, looking rather like a chocolate Easter chicken.
She then decided that the veranda was really the place for her. For a while she perched at the head of the table of some Russian tourists who were enjoying a winter soup. “I think she wants us to order another portion of soup,” joked one. She reluctantly came down from her chair, but would not hear of going anywhere but the veranda.
I asked the Village leader if she had lost one of her hens. “Not mine,” came the reply. “She must belong to Petro.” Petro lives next door but one from the restaurant. I knocked on his  door. No answer. “He is away for the day,” said a villager.
At the stage I started feeling rather nervous. Dealing with live chickens is not in the realm of my life experiences. What do I do with a live chicken wandering about in my restaurant’s veranda? Should I feed it? Should I give it some water? “Petro will pick it up in the morning,” said passing villagers nonchalantly. Happily, all the customers were amused and delighted. “We love your food,” they said. “We’ll be back but we want you to keep the chicken.” The chicken made one or two attempts to come into the restaurant, but I really put my foot down there and shooed it out. But try as I might when I tried to coax it away from the veranda it just kept coming back.  Veranda seemed like home. I shrugged my shoulders and disinfected profusely.
The next day I saw Petro walk by. “Hey Petro,” I called, “‘Kalimera’. Have you lost a chicken?” He came to the veranda and picked the chicken into his arms. “Thank goodness,” he said I thought dogs had eaten her. I used to have six hens. I now have only this one. Stray dogs killed the others.”
So once again (to my relief), I had no chicken mascot on the restaurant veranda and we had a happy chicken owner!