Short Story/Fiction


A short Story

Grey Hen With A Pen
7 min readOct 23, 2023


A picture of a gourd
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My watering can hangs upside down on a pole, useless until filled from the well. Once shiny, robust, now the can’s faded, there are cracks caused by the blistering sun. A song pops into my head.

🎶There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza…

Inside the watering can’s grey-green spout insects shelter from the heat. Despite knowing they are there, I lift the can from the pole and begin filling it, one gallon, two, three, four …The jaded creatures hurriedly evacuate their once dry and sheltered temporary home, like refugees from a flood. The torrent of icy liquid washes away their webs and nests in a noisy deluge. Stragglers, mainly trundling woodlice, erupt from the spout in a virescent torrent of liquid. Waterlogged, they flail on the sodden ground until the warm air dries them. They become mobile once more and scurry off through the myrtle and asparagus to beg asylum from a mellow red brick.

🎶Then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry.

A random thought pops into my head. I remember it like it was yesterday. How time flies: He called me ‘madam’ — not ‘miss’. Why? Until the moment ‘madam’ slipped snake-like from his spittle-flecked lips, I’d been young. Madam stopped my breath. It shifted my perspective, dented my ego, shocked me like an



Grey Hen With A Pen

Patricia Minson writes poems, short stories, and articles on a variety of subjects from Art & Writing to Spirituality & True Crime.