The Mission

On Thursday night we lost another chicken.  This time I personally made sure ever door was locked.  But there are crafty creatures in Mother Nature.  Creatures that can figure out a sliding bolt lock.

I am very very thankful that my oldest son David was here to take care of things Friday morning.  Ben had left for a camping trip Thursday afternoon.  He found that the chickens’ door has been unbolted and knocked off its hinges.  No we aren’t dealing with Sasquatch just a rickety little door with only one good hinge.  David also cleaned up the scene.

I knew that come Friday evening I would have to screw the door shut.  Completely seal the girls in.  Ben also called suggesting that I buy another trap (our old was non-functioning) and set it up.

Well Friday afternoon became one of those how-many-very-important-things-can-we-fit-into-a-finite-amount-of-time situations.   Lawn mowing, escaped dog, getting money to middle child for girl scout outing, buying trap, getting little lost bird stuck in chicken coop out, getting youngest child ready for piano recital, praying I am setting this trap correctly, scrounging for something to cover the chicken door and getting to recital hall all in about an hour and a half.

I had left that morning dressed in what would have been a very appropriate outfit for a piano recital but after setting all of that up in the muggy late afternoon heat of Arkansas I was drenched to my toes in sweat.  Let’s add a quick washing and change of clothes to the list.

Even though as I sat through Luke’s recital (he did wonderful) I was still a messed up bunch of nerves.  Phoebe and I came home later that evening and walked with arms linked and spot light ready to check on everyone.  We watched some Harry Potter with me jumping up ever so often to run outside with the spotlight.  I tried sleeping with my window open a bit so that I would be able to hear any commotions but all that did was set m nerves on high alert and I couldn’t calm down.  So I prayed, closed my window and went to sleep.

I woke up hearing the songbirds this morning.  I squeezed my eyes shut and listen for chicken sounds.  Birchy would have been crowing since 4:30 or 5am.  I hear nothing.  After settling to the fact that I have to go outside and check sooner or later I get up put on m boots and grab the spotlight.  Why I grabbed the spot light at just before 7am I don’t know but it seemed like a viable weapon at the moment.

So here I am creeping as quietly as I can to the coop.  If there is a massacre I will have to easy myself into it.  But slowly I see and count all the girls and 3 young chickens.  A sigh of relief and prayer of thanks where expelled all in one breath I hadn’t realized I was holding.

Now to peer at the trap.  I had set it on the back side of the coop which is behind the fencing.  The air had smelled faintly of skunk when I stepped out and being only in my nightgown and rain boots armed with my trusty spotlight I didn’t want to unduly startle the unknown that may or may not be in the trap.

There was definitely something moving in it.  I didn’t get close enough or stay long enough to make acquaintances.  I rushed back to the house with relief and peace filling me.  I had done good.  I had protected my brood.

I dressed and made coffee.  Decided that the girls could stay locked up today but knew they would need plenty of food and water. And the goats needed to be fed.  So this all meant I really needed to make a definite observations as to what was in the trap.

Feeling braver with my jeans on I ease around the edge of the coop.  It’s definitely moving.  It’s dark in color.  I can’t see any defining white stripe.  Then the glinting little eyes from behind a banditos mask lock onto mine.  I have trapped my first raccoon.

So I am sitting here drinking my coffee, getting ready to go help a friend paint her house to sell. Feeling very empowered.  But of course I think I am ready to hand this over to someone else now. 
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