Bessie Anne and I were taking a break after barn chores, and it was nice enough out to leave the front door open. We heard one terrified squawk and were both out the door like a shot. Heading toward the chicken pen, we were in time to see a coyote racing for the woods and Bessie followed in hot pursuit. Not only worried about the chickens, then I was scared the coyote would turn and do a number on Bess, but the coyote had a head start and Bessie has a bum leg. Down in the woods, my girl had to settle for telling the coyote loudly what she would have done had she caught it (and I was just as glad). Lucky, the hen I made the fox spit out last year, was the only chicken free ranging and the intended victim. Her luck still holds, it seems. Poor thing, her tail feathers still haven't grown out from her encounter with the fox, but that's a small price to pay. After her escape, she went under the barn, unharmed, but refused to be coaxed out.
My plan was to pull the bracken out by the driveway first since that is where the dog and cats hang out, and then work my way around to tall stuff behind the chicken pen. So much for that plan. I needed to get the slope cleared now. A much bigger area, I figured to use the weedeater and get it cleared in a half hour. After a winter of unuse, I couldn't start the weedeater. So much for that plan. Two hours later, I had pulled bracken from a four-by-thirty-foot swath. I found where the coyote had made its attack and it was as I suspected. The tall weeds were a perfect cover for the predator. Lucky came out from hiding as I was finishing up, and she was one subdued little hen, sitting quietly close by me while I worked. Normally a chicken will be right there, looking at the freshly turned dirt for bugs and worms as I weed, but Lucky hadn't quite recovered from her trauma. She meekly followed when I was done and went right into the pen when I opened the gate.
Racing after the coyote left Bessie too tired to even go with me to put the goats to bed, and I've got a lot of aching muscles, myself. There's quite a lot of cloud cover this morning and it will be a good day to do nothing. We'll see how that plan goes.