Saturday, March 6, 2010
Sad Ending to a Good Day
It was finally warm enough yesterday, even with patches of snow still on the ground, to take a book out to the deck and sit in the sun with Bessie Anne and the cats. I get such enjoyment from watching the hens scratch in the leaves and eavesdropping on their quiet clucking. Later, one of my customers for milk came by and we stood outside and watched a large flock of geese head back to Canada. Nearby Boondock Lake is one of the resting spots for these birds on their flight path, and the air is filled with their calls in the spring and fall. It became overcast and cool again in the afternoon, and Bessie and I snuggled up in the house for a nap. Neither of us heard anything. Toward dusk, I headed out to put the critters to bed, but none of the free-rangers came running out like puppies to parade with me to the hen house...something was wrong. There, by the gate to their pen, were two small, forlorn bodies. I herded the remaining flock into their house and then, searching, I found a pile of feathers from a missing third by the deck, and some of Frederick's tail feathers under an oak. Frederick was with the girls in the pen, so he must have been attacked, but was able to escape. I hope he nailed the intruder(s) good with his four-inch spurs. I'm sure he was defending his ladies. Wild things don't usually kill what they're not going to eat...it's survival, not fun...and this was definitely overkill. I feel so bad.