Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Fox

I have to stop talking about goats now or my eldest will be calling me "Goat Woman" instead of "Chicken Lady". He called me Granny for awhile when I was sitting outside all day with my rifle across my lap waiting for a fox.

The story goes like this; I was talking to my Son on the phone one day this past summer, when one of my little banty hens came right to my door yelling her head off.

The banties never come around the house/barn, so I told my eldest that something was wrong and I had to go. I hung up the phone and went out to see what was going on.

Right behind the goat/chicken shed was a fox and he had something down and was biting it repeatedly. I started running, as much as I am able to run with my back like it is, towards him and screaming at him. He totally ignored me and continued focusing on trying to kill his prey. I was almost able to reach out and touch him before he turned loose and trotted a short distance away, sat down and looked at me. I can't stand that kind of disrespect. But I didn't have time to deal with him just yet, I had to see to my injured bird.

My injured bird turned out to be my old rooster, Foggy. He and I had had a parting of the ways not long before this incident happened and that is partly the reason it happened

Foggy and I had always been buddies. I would sit in the doorway of the goat/chicken shed and he would stand in the doorway beside me, overlooking our Kingdom. My husband's sister had given him to us and they told us that he was mean, but he had never shown any ill will towards us, we could pick him up and hold him and my Grandchildren could pet him.

Then one day, I didn't know that he was behind me and I turned around and stepped on him, he took it personal and flogged my bare legs. Foggy was well endowed with 3 inch spurs. My legs looked horrible, I was bruised, cut and had large welts.

Not being one to hold a grudge, I forgave him because after all, I had provoked the attack. I guess he wasn't as forgiving as I was and he must have taken great exception to being stepped on because a few days later he flogged me again.

He never flogged anyone but me and on the third flogging, I went to the house and told my dear husband that as soon as it gets dark and cools off, his spurs are coming off and I don't care if he bleeds to death.

Now bear in mind, that this wasn't a rash decision, I had tried to break him of this nasty habit on several occasions when he didn't actually get the job of shredding my legs done, but only had made an attempt. I would use him as a football, until I was exhausted because every time I would kick him, he would come back for more. I also broke a good broom on him. So I did try to give him several more chances.

That night, we twisted the outer horn of the spur off, then took horse nippers and cut the spur clean down against his leg. He bled very little. You are suppose to bake a potato and then stick the spur in it for a few minutes and twist the spur off but that's only if you like the rooster.

Foggy was a very good rooster, as roosters go, he would give his life for his hens but enough was enough, and I took his only weapon away from him. Now I was looking down at him after the fox had reluctantly left him there. Who knows how many times that fox had come around and Foggy had successfully fought him off, but not this time. Are you crying yet?

I knelt down and put my hand on his lifeless body, he was still breathing, so I gently picked him up and carried him to the house/barn. I laid him carefully in a wire cage and went into the house to get him some water. When I came back he was on his feet and gladly accepted my kindness. I left the cage door open and went for my gun.

I grabbed the phone and hit redial, I thought that I would get my eldest Son but got my youngest instead, little matter, they could both remind me how to load my rifle. It isn't something I do everyday. However, after having my memory refreshed, I went hunting. The varmint was no where to be found but I knew he would be back. So I waited...

I sat outside in a chair with my rifle across my lap the next day but he did not return. The following day, I looked out the window in time to see him saunter by and go into the high weeds across from the goat/chicken shed. From this vantage point he could bide his time in safety while waiting for his chicken dinner. So I walked out and trudged through the weeds.

I didn't see him anymore that day or the next but on the fourth day he returned. I lucked out and happened to look out the window just in time to see him behind the goat/chicken shed again.

I slipped out the door, quietly released my safety and took aim. He must has heard me because he did a quick trot up the path away from me. I stood my ground hoping for a good shot but he was getting too far away, finally he turned with his left side towards me, still moving at a trot and I wasted no time taking the shot because I knew he would disappear in the weeds again.

As soon as I had squeezed it off, he jumped in the air and fell to the ground, he flopped around for awhile, so I was certain that I got him. I waited for a short time then started towards him, I was almost there when he jumped up and ran off, I shot again but missed this time. To my knowledge, he never came back, he may have crawled off somewhere and died.

Foggy recovered and things between us remained the same, I would like to say that he forgave me and we became friends once more, but that was not to be. So after a couple of more floggings, and a lot of whining, my husband loaded him up and took him to the local sale barn. The rooster that I have now is his son, he hasn't tried anything with me yet. He is much smaller than his father, but he has the same tenacity.
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