There is no deep moral lesson in today’s article but every word is true.
I’ve written before that our flock of chickens spend their days “free ranging” on the back lawn but are locked in the barn at night. I’ve also written that one chicken has decided of its own volition to live totally independently and we call her “Freedom”. (If you lived on a rural homestead you’d think chickens are interesting too. It’s what happens when you don’t have cable.)
Freedom is no fool. Whenever I’m in the vicinity she keeps a keen eye on me in case I’m bringing some treats for the other hen-folk.
In a related event, last night I noticed a mouse stealing the dog food.
I set a trap and nailed the sucker by morning. I used a complex plastic “no kill” trap. (Before you think I’ve gone all wobbly and joined PETA, be informed that I’d happily use a land mine to kill a mouse but the traps in question actually work pretty well.) I picked up the trap (with a live mouse in it) and sauntered out the door. My plan was to toss the little thief into the woods (where he could live a happy life of not stealing dog food) and then let the non-Freedom chickens out for the morning. And that’s what I did. I flipped the lever and out dropped a very live mouse who made for the woods… Actually, that’s not what happened.
Freedom, who had been pecking away at a stump a hundred feet behind me had been watching. She saw me drop the mouse and came tearing into the scene to attack like a frenzied wolverine with a sharp beak and a bad attitude. The poor mouse never knew what hit it. I’m going to have nightmares for a month!
Modern science postulates the following:
I agree! After this morning’s demonstration, I’m convinced that the only thing separating a chicken from a brutally efficient killing machine is size. I should be packing heat just to collect the eggs! Should some corporate flak for KFC ever breed giant chickens I’m never leaving my house again.
Freedom the chicken quickly decided that I hadn’t dropped a morsel to it’s taste, eyed me as if to say “if I was five feet tall you’d be next bubba!”, and then trotted off to look for worms. The poor mouse was a trainwreck. I was stunned.
A few minutes later one of my nutless useless cats (which are Bob Barker’s fault) showed up to finish the job. Apparently “live traps” don’t work too well on my farm full of pint size monsters. Indeed the cycle of life continues here at Curmudgeon Compound with a full schedule of surprises.