Imagine this scene. It's a crisp, spring Saturday morning. The robins and thrushes (the only songbirds brave enough to venture out this early on a cold day) are telling the world how much they don't want intruders into their territories, a hedgehog, looking like a businessman late for work, hurriedly bustles itself into the large scruffy patch of brambles and the first grass snake sleepily hauls herself up onto her regular basking spot. A teenage boy with flaming red hair walks briskly across to the chicken pens, yawning lazily. After opening the other coops and coming to the last one, the boy jars open the old, squeaky door. As soon as the birds inside hear the scraping that they know so well, they work themselves up into a squawking frenzy, thinking of the glorious treats to come. As the boy lifts the sliding door of the coop up the first inch, three heads thrust themselves indignantly through the opening at the same time. The boy inserts his hand into the squabbling fray, and pulls out a hen. "Arwen..." He sighs at the troublesome bird as he sets her down on the floor of the run. The rest of the five birds residing in that pen have already shoved themselves out of the coop. As soon as the birds have finished their morning feed, they scrabble past the boy's legs and rush into the outside world. Now Dolly, heroine as she is, does enjoy a little vole-murdering sometimes. So as the other birds, Gwendoline, Peanut, Cinderella, Arwen, and Gandalf, the allmighty ruler of the flock, descend to the compost heap to dig up various larvae, dolly sprints over to the mossy field edge, the thrill of the hunt obvious in her golden eyes. But the peace does not last forever. The thrushes and the robins become quiet as an air of tension descends on the garden. The hedgehog is long gone, as it sensed that trouble was about to appear long ago. The grass snake, now fully solar charged, raises her head, and with a flicker of her tongue, curls her body thoughtfully. She tasted vaguely familiar scent on the air, one that had disappeared along with the quail that supplied her with occasional treats in the form of eggs. Although she couldn't remember what animal smelt like this, and didn't want to wait around to find out and was gone in a flash. Dolly didn't see this, and if she had, she probably wouldn't care anyway. With the other birds out of the way, she had already caught four fat voles. The grass rustles a few metres away, Dolly pauses, a worm hanging from her beak, and looks in that direction. The grass rustles again, closer this time. Dolly squawks, hoping to attract Gandalf's attention. But he is too busy digging up maggots and doesn't hear. The rustle is even closer this time, and Dolly squawks again, the panic sounding in her voice this time, without the other chickens to egg her on (no pun intended) she feels weak. The third time she calls, Gandalf looks up. He crows questioningly. Dolly shrieks this time. Gandalf shoots off, the other birds looking at him as if he is mad. Dolly doesn't know that Gandalf has heard her. She straightens up, ready for a fight. The long grass parts about a meter to the left of Dolly. She doesn't notice. Gandalf draws nearer, he knows he needs to get to Dolly fast, although he doesn't know why. As he rounds the corner, Dolly looks to her right and seeing him, clucks as if to say "you ready?" Gandalf runs towards her. She purrs questioningly. Gandalf carries on running, he sees what is about to happen. Dolly catches on just quickly enough andvas an albino ferret, the very same ferret that slaughtered seven of my eight coturnix quail and almost bit the head off the biggest grass snake, lands on Dolly's back, she turns round and bites it as hard as she can right on the nose. Any other chicken would have been killed, beheaded, and butchered by this disgusting creature, but not dolly. She bit that vile beast so hard that it stopped for a second to think about what it was doing. A second was all it took. Gandalf, spurred on by Dolly's attempt, leaps, and gliding down towards the tussling creatures, promptly kicks it right in the face. The ferret is propelled around five feet across the field, bounces once, twice and rolls to the foot of the great oak tree. After scrambling to it's feet and shaking itself, the ferret screams hysterically and bounds off as fast as its stumpy legs can carry it. Dolly and Gandalf share a glance, and then as if the momentous event had never happened, strut off together back towards the compost heap. The boy, with his mouth hanging open, slaps his forehead and sighs, disgusted with himself that he has forgotten his camera AGAIN!