Viewer Discretion Advised: Fabio's Demise.

Yesterday the sun came out and the wind kicked in enough to dry out the lawn to mow.  But now it is raining again.Everything seems a little unsettled from the weather to the wildlife. The rain has swelled the muddy Chilkat, and the full moon tides are extreme, making for waves close to the house. In the middle of the night Chip nudged me and wondered if "we" should move the kayak to higher ground. I chose not too, as it looked okay- and it was.  Yesterday the kids were all over, as well as the visiting neighbor little boys and their mom, when a hawk swooped into the chicken coop and grabbed Fabio- the flashy white bantam rooster-- and dispatched him in short order. The rest of the flock scuttled into the hen house. The hawk spent the rest the day eating Fabio who was mostly a pile of feathers by evening. When the hawk finally took off I had to go clean up and pick up what was left of him. You know, I never thought I could give my husband shots (blood thinners, in his stomach, twice a day for 6 weeks, now thankfully done. Chip is much better and should be weight-bearing on the hip and hopefully off the crutches by this time next week.) I never thought I could pick up a murdered rooster who I knew well for two years, either. But someone has to. I don't agree that what won't kill you makes you stronger. But I do think that sometimes when you do the thing you believe you can't, there's a small victory in overcoming that fear and anxiety. The hawk has to eat, too,  and honestly, Fabio wasn't my favorite rooster. He was stand-offish and bossy and never looked me in the eye. Which doesn't mean I'd wish him to die so horribly. But there you have it.  "Life on the food chain", as my son the fisherman would say.This morning it was quieter with just one little rooster, crowing a bit timidly. I unlatched the electric fence, and opened the gate, then the chicken-sized hatch to the coop and let him and hens out into the run, and then, for a treat, pulled up some bolted lettuce festooned with slugs for them all,  and as I carried it all over to the pen, there was the damn hawk, on the fence, about to grab the other bantam rooster--  (The four Barred Plymouth Rock hens are big and fat, but smarter. They had already run inside, or maybe the rooster was trying to protect them. Maybe Fabio had died defending the others?) I screamed and threw all the lettuces at the hawk and shooed the rooster in the hen house and latched the chicken door. The hawk glared at me and stayed firm on the fence. I had assumed he was what the dogs were barking at at dawn. Then my neighbor Betty called (it was 7:15 am by this time)  and said, in her Rhode Island accent without introduction, which is how we talk on the phone: "Sow and three cubs heading your way. Big cubs. Bigger than Newf." (That would be her late Newfoundland dog, who we used to say was big as a bear.) "They ate my apples and then went over to Feldman's cherries and are back again. So watch out." Well, there are no bears in the yard so far. And it is quieter out there, by one rooster, which I never thought I'd say-- is too bad.


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