Here’s something they don’t tell you when you are a kid, and your mom is reading you a book about Farmer Bob, and it’s all fun in the hay and frolic with the animals . . . there are predators out there who aim to eat your animals the moment you let down your guard. It probably makes sense that they don’t mention that in the Farmer Bob Series. Little kids don’t need to know about disemboweled chickens and headless quail, do they?
Winter is a particularly brutal time of year. Raccoons and other critters are hungry in the winter, and finding food is tough for them. Hell, we live in the middle of the city, and I’ve spotted two coyotes walking down our street. A new neighbor lost his cat to a coyote last week. They are out there! I don’t blame them at all. In fact, I applaud their ingenuity and determination in finding something to eat. It’s my job to make sure their next meal doesn’t include Bill’s chicken & quail tortilla, minus the tortilla.
That was quite the introduction, all leading up to the fact we have lost eight quail in the past month. Something has dug a hole and gotten into the enclosure. Drags the quail out one at a time. Leaves feathers behind. Annoys the hell out of me. So I have work to do.
We also lost a chicken recently. Bev had brought home four rescue chickens, and we introduced them to their own coop, did everything correctly, and the next night two of them decided they would rather roost in a nearby tree. So we played that game for a few nights, dragging them out of the tree, putting them in their coop, until one night they were more clever in choosing a hiding place.
Well, eventually, their cleverness cost one of them their life.
Raccoons are always hungry in the winter.
So life goes on. Winter will be over soon, and then spring chores will begin, and repairs undertaken, and the trees will bud, leaves will appear, and temperatures will signal the coming of a new season, one of promise, one of hope, and one filled with more things Farmer Bob should never speak about to little children.