Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Racoon's Tale...er...Tail?

Okay, here we are, halfway through the day and City Boy is reading...and correcting!...my story. He wants everyone to know it was NOT a shot gun, that no one misses with a shot gun, and that he was using a .22 pistol.

So there you have it. NOT a shot gun. A pistol. Either way, there were holes blasted through my chicken house.

Are you happy now, City Boy? (Sorry, subscribers...you're getting this twice! But at leat you'll know it wasn't a shot gun, lest you thought any less of City Boy for missing with one...)

A friend of mine emailed the other day to ask if she could have some turkey eggs added to the incubator. She'd had a few turkey's disappear overnight, becoming a racoon's late night snack. One of those who was nabbed was a hen who'd been setting (setting is country talk for sitting on some eggs...) I wasn't really sure how well they'd fit, but they into the incubator they went. They're kinda cool looking, aren't they?

Some years back we'd been losing chickens around here. Loosing, as in I'd get up in the morning and find a half eaten one inside the chicken yard. Trying to find out what was getting in, and how, proved difficult. There was netting over the top, and no holes in the wire. One small area showed where perhaps something small could have been going underneath, but it seemed doubtful.

We set up the old baby monitor and for a few nights we heard nothing. Then one night we heard the most horrific sounds! I don't even know how to describe them...Rocket was still outside, and he's a non-barking dog. I mean, not his breed, but he just never barks. And this wasn't barking, anyway. It was guttural, growling, and primitive sounding. A sound that would raise the hair on the back of your neck, and send you scurrying for the house if you'd heard it while standing outside. Heck, the hair on the back of my neck was standing from inside! My first thought was that Rocket was being eaten alive.

Turns out the sounds were coming from Rocket after all. Not knowing how to bark, he did the best he could, which certainly had caught our attention. City Boy had trotted out to the chicken coop, only to return at a dead run, grabbed his shot gun and ran back outside.

What happened next will no doubt be a story told around the valley for years to come. We had new neighbors behind us; they'd just moved into our peaceful little neighborhood the week before. It was now just after 10 pm and all the lights over there were out. But they were on before City Boy was done.

Inside the pen was a raccoon. When it saw City Boy come running, it tried frantically to climb the fence, but soon realized it wouldn't make it out. He then scurried back towards the chicken house. City Boy, still on the run, aimed and missed. And missed again. And again. Shots rang out, lights went on.

The raccoon realized it had no where to run inside the house, and the bullets were flying right through the wall anyway, so it may as well take it's chances outside. Out it came, running for all it was worth and scrambling up the fencing. No doubt if it hadn't had to lift the netting off the top, it would have made it. As it was, City Boy managed to finally hit the little masked bandit.

I told City Boy to save the raccoon. I asked him to whack off it's tail in the morning so I could make my dad a coon skin cap. But when he went out in the morning, he found the raccoon but no tail! He came in, wondering if I'd already done it. Who, me? You're joking, right? Turns out we had a raccoon tale, but no tail.


We do, however, have a souvenier of sorts. There are three bullet holes in the wall of the chicken coop.

13 comments:

Norma said...

Too funny. I'm glad you caught the little bugger. When we lived in CA we had one poor chicken dragged under the fencing and down into the canyon. Only found a black feather trail. :(

Vicki said...

I have an incubator with nothing in it. Isn't that sad?

Yesterday I found half of a light blue egg laying next to a white daisy type wildflower. I picked up both and put them in a vase for my counter at the shop.

I love spring.

Dixie said...

Girl you would not believe some of the contraptions that my husband and his dad have bought that are supposed to keep varmints out of the chicken yard.

My husband has spent many a night "on guard" when the killing sprees were bad.

I don't know why they love them chickens so. Baffles the shit out of me.

Holly Schwendiman said...

Reading of the baby monitor reminded me of growing up. My parents raised turkey's one year and I remember when the first set up the pen how they put dad's scanner radios out there for the same purpose. They were so noisy! And I'll never forget having to chase them back inside when it rained. Ah the memories. ;)

Hugs,
Holly

Karmyn R said...

You never found where the tail went? What a mystery!!

Cool eggs. When they hatch will you get to keep one?

Donna said...

Reminds me of the time years ago when possums killed all my chickens, a few each night. My son or husband would go out and kill a varmint every night, and next night there'd be another. I hate possums with a passion to this day, and go into a laughing fit when I see one smashed on the road.

Tracey said...

Oh, Donna! Shame on you, girl! I love possums...

Karmyn, there had been a tail-less coon raiding the neighbors dog food the prior year. No clue how he'd lost it, but evidentally he'd been without for a while! As for keeping a turkey...see below.

Holly, I've got a turkey story I'll share some day. His name was Dinner...

Norma, how sad! Feather trails aren't fun.

Dix, you don't know why your dh an dad love chickens? Or why the racoons love them? Could be for the same reason...they're tasty!

And Vicki, please fill that incubator!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Do you not lock the chickens up in their hen house at night? We let ours out in the morning, but in the evening they get locked in. They have a cement floor, so nothing can really get in...I hope!

wolfbaby said...

ahh my great uncle used to have the cousins sit out at night and keep watch when it was time for them to start disappearing..

tail less racoon.. huh.. funny

Rachel said...

Pretty eggs!!

Gee, I wonder what happened to the raccoon's tail?? A mystery for you to solve no doubt!

Devon said...

Have you noticed if the new neighbors have a coontail hat?

What a funny story!!

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