Death Comes to the Cul-de-Sac

Early this morning, our three hens lost a battle with some wild animal.  Killed for some visceral reason, yet left mostly intact.  I found two of them outside both the fenced in chicken yard and outside our 6 foot cedar fence, too.  Whatever killed them dragged two of them over a 4 foot wire fence, and either over the wooden privacy fence or out the gate that was open only a few inches.

I only noticed after I had gotten the grass trimmer out of the shed and looked over to see a chicken on her back.  She wasn’t moving.  They often take dirt baths so this wasn’t an odd position to see them in, but it was odd that she wasn’t moving.  I said, “Hey!”, because maybe they hadn’t heard me come out.  No such luck.

I had been leaving the door to the coop open overnight so they could enjoy the long evenings and the early mornings.  I don’t get up nearly as early as the sunrise these days, and I hated to make them stay cooped up.  I guess that’s where we get that expression from, isn’t it?

I guess cooped up, in the big picture, would have been better for them.  I don’t pretend to understand the pitiless nature of the wild, but I really should have believed Jack London – he was ALWAYS writing about the relentless pursuit of predators.  I just didn’t think it would reach all the way into our patch of land.

Even so, “It was not judgment day; only morning, excellent and fair.”  William Styron, from “Sophie’s Choice”.

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