An Ex-Battery Hen’s First Christmas I woke all cosy and warm in the hay And smiled at the thought ‘another free-range day’ As I ruffled and fluffed and cooed and preened I heard Mable cry a chilling scream! So up I hopped, my butt feathers flat As I ran through the barn and out of the hatch I froze where I stood, staring at Mable’s face The world had changed, my heart started to race Something strange had crept in the night And blanketed the world in this silent white Should I take another step? I don’t know if I dare, With the world all white, I feel rather scared. But I’m not a chick I must act my age And not be scared now I’m out of the cage. The family who loves me Mable and Beryl They wouldn’t put us in any peril! So I took a step forward, the white crunched on my toes As something white fell on my nose I sqwarked loudly and watched it disappear And drip off my beak, just like a tear Mable started to cluck in alarm As we heard giant crunching from behind the barn We flapped our wings, ran, hopped and leapt And all of us huddled safe in our nest. ‘Merry Christmas Girls! Come on it’s Me, Santa left you a gift come here and see!’ I know that voice! I know that soul! It’s the woman who saved us so we can grow old! We leapt up fast and with all of our might, Raced out of the hatch and into the white, There she stood with a shiny gift That we pecked and clawed and finally ripped A soft red jumper lay hidden beneath that she put over our head with our wings tucked in neat It was soft and warm against our bare naked breasts So snugly I felt like I was still in my nest! A perfect solution until I grow my own feathers So I can free-range in this strange white weather! ‘My Sweet Girls don’t be afraid of the snow, this gift from nature, a beautiful show.’ She placed on the snow our bowls of breakfast And we pecked our corn and the porridge did mess us. “Merry Christmas Girls, I love you all.” And with beaks full of food, “we love you” we called.