11 Jun Stories Behind Stories: Henrietta Hen
In this series of blogs, we hear from Bold Beasts Liverpool-based author Rachel Braddock on the inspiration behind her adorable little characters. This week, Rachel talks us through the story behind her creation Henrietta Hen.
When I was a small child, I lived on a very remote farm in the south of Derbyshire, England. My mother kept poultry, and we had quite a sizable flock of hens. Every morning, I would go with her to feed these hens and collect their eggs. Once we had gathered up the eggs, we took them back to the kitchen and laid them down carefully on the floor.
My mother used to get a bucket of lukewarm water and she would put each egg, individually, into the bucket. If it floated to the top, it meant that there was too much gas in it, meaning that it was no good to eat. These eggs had to be hurled into the midden or muck heap, since they were of no use.
Eggs which sank gently to the bottom of the bucket were removed, dried, and retained for eating or baking. Alternatively, they were sometimes packed into crates for collection by the Egg Marketing Board.
These early memories have always stayed with me, and perhaps that was what inspired me to write a story about a very different kind of hen! I hope you enjoy Henrietta’s story. Of course, I love all of my characters dearly, but I have to say that Henrietta holds a special place in my heart.
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