Here’s my rooster, Monty (named for Montgomery Clift, because as a young cockerel he was slim, tall, dark, and handsome) back in February. Someday I’ll have to write a history of my roosters, but for now suffice it to say that last fall I drove an hour to pick up Monty from a farm in Mooers Forks. He took over my small flock of four hens with adolescent enthusiasm. His own harem! Sex at every opportunity!
Monty struts with self-importance and crows all day long. “Shut up!” I hear the builders yell good-naturedly in reply.
For the last three days I have been very busy with guests and struggling to put things together in the house. (Where could the cross bars of the bed frame be?) Yesterday at around 2 PM I was sweating over bookcase pieces in the living room when the dogs suddenly leapt up barking.
I ran to the window and saw nothing. The dogs stared out the glass patio doors for a moment but eventually went back to sleep.
An hour later I took them for a walk and to my sorrow found dozens of black and green iridescent feathers littering the ground in front of the barn. I felt sick. The feathers were unmistakably Monty’s. That coyote has killed my rooster ten feet in front of the barn in broad daylight!
I walked the dogs feeling sad and savage. My mind churned.
However, this time I received my miracle. At chore time, there was Monty in the barn! He looked shell-shocked, huddled with his four hens. He also had only two scraggly feathers left in his tail. But he was alive.
I have to come up with a good solution for this problem. I don’t want to shoot the coyote (I don’t own a .22 anyway). He or she is just trying to make a living. However I need to keep my creatures safe from predators. Thank you, God, for this momentary reprieve.
Today I am supposed to be on the road all day. It is pouring rain. I may leave the geese and chickens in the barn while I am gone.