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A Doctor Writes – Inferiority?

As a doctor I am often asked, “do smallholders ever suffer from an inferiority complex?”

Generally the answer is no. I have found during my long medical career that statistically, smallholders are less likely than most other groups to suffer from the feelings of inferiority or inadequacy.

However, there are of course “the exceptions which prove the rule” a medical expression which we Doctors use in such cases as these.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of this exception is if the smallholder has been exposed, even for a short time, to Wailes Syndrome.

The only way you can contract this virulent strain of the disease is to visit “Biddies Roost” in Stannington Station where this syndrome is known to originate. As it is highly contagious the patient will feel the effects almost immediately. Sufferers turn green, clutch their foreheads and become seriously depressed. This is caused by the sight of the stunning, the awesome, and the simply magnificent purpose built hen house at the above-mentioned “Roost” Why did we spend all that money on the Dome when what we needed was this? No wonder Peter Mandelson was confused.

This is not a hen house; this is a hen palace, a Taj Mahal, a hen house fit for Edward and Sophie or Posh and Becks. Built in the rural gothic style with a hint of the English perpendicular it has en- suite dust baths in every magnificently appointed room, wall to wall fitted sawdust, hot and cold running mash, room service on a twenty four hour basis and décor that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowel-Movement couldn’t even imagine. All this combined with a view across rolling countryside; in a fox proof garden will certainly cause any smallholder to develop an inferiority complex.

Of course the hens deserve this. They are not your average bog standard brown hens, certainly not! These are aristocrats of the poultry world and as such are treated accordingly. They don’t wander about the garden scratching mindlessly. No! these birds lie around all day in strategically placed dust baths and have common or garden hybrids to do their scratching for them. They have their own style consultants and P.R. people. These are celebrities. Paparazzi sneak into the garden hoping to snap those intimate, unguarded moments.

Unfortunately you have now been exposed to the virus and, in medical terms you have contracted a terminal case of Wailes Syndrome. You return home and look at your garden shed, lovingly converted into what you used to think was a Des. Res. hen house and realise that it’s just an old shed with a little door cut in it and what you had convinced yourself were fairly stunning examples of Rhode Island Reds are actually very ordinary brownish hens. Dissatisfaction has set in and you want more, much more .You seriously consider double-glazing. Maybe leaded windows might help or what about sun blinds? You could probably get a three-piece suite in. Of course by now you are in the critical stages of the illness.
Should you call in Carol Smillie?

The terminal stage comes when you move out into the hen house and the hens move into your house. Hen Houses Anonymous can’t help you now. The only thing you can do is flog the hens and take up another hobby but for Heavens sake don’t get interested in Guinea Pigs…then you really will have an inferiority complex!!