Japanese Bantam Hen With Chicks — While events of high drama were taking place out on the river, some small face-offs took place in the farmyard. On happy days at the farm, I could play with kittens and hound-dog puppies, watch the big chickens and little bantam hens scratching in the kitchen garden or peek between the slats of the board fence at new piglets snuffling about noisily. One day, though, I was unwise enough to get between a tiny “banty” hen and her chicks. It was another of those life lessons learned firsthand. The feisty little hen took extreme exception to my intrusion and immediately attacked me with claws, beak and frantically flapping wings. Attracted by the cacophany of screams and squawks, Grammy came to my rescue with a broom. She fended off the hen long enough for me to run into the house. After that episode I always took long detours around any hens with chicks, but I retained a great deal of respect for that courageous tiny hen mother. I was small, she was smaller, and she knew just how to handle what appeared to be a threat to her family.