Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coyotes and Chickens and Kids, Oh, My!

I'm in Nampa (Idaho) for the CHOIS homeschool convention, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to tell some of my favorite homestead stories from the past. Years ago, we had a one-acre homestead "farm" in rural western Washington, where we raised chickens, dairy goats, sheep, a yearly beef calf, meat rabbits, angora rabbits, a pair of geese, and even a horse for a season (not everything at the same time!), plus the usual cats.

So, take a ride in my time machine and enjoy this first Blast from the Past:

One morning, not so many years ago, my 8-year-old daughter, Kristel, came screaming into the house with an empty egg basket (her morning chore was collecting eggs). "There's a coyote eating our chickens!" she shrieked. 

Without a thought, I snatched up the first thing I came across--a broom--and tore out of the house. Indeed, the chicken yard looked like a war zone. The hens were ravished! Infuriated at this wanton act of destruction, I looked around for the culprit. Sure enough, there he was with a chicken in his mouth. I ran after him, hollered, and whacked at him. He dropped the chicken and took off. 

 But not for long . . . Soon (and I mean a few minutes later) the coyote was back for the breakfast he'd dropped on the run. Enough of this, I thought. So I went into the closet and got out the .22 pistol. I slammed in the clip, told the kids to stay in the house, and went out in the front yard. There he was, not more than 15 feet away, with another chicken in his mouth. He looked at me--daring me to take action.

That did it! We lived inside the city limits, but I didn't care if I shouldn't be shooting off guns in town. I took aim and shot at the coyote. He didn't drop dead. He didn't drop the chicken. He didn't yelp. He didn't move. He just looked at me. Another shot. Same reaction. I began to think I was firing blanks. Two more shots. Missed again. 

Then, apparently disgusted with my poor marksmanship, he trotted off---chicken still in his mouth. We never saw him again.

Moral: If you're going to shoot a coyote, try some target practice first.

Kristel around the time of the coyote incident:


mom said...

I love that story! You are a real Annie Oakly!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Susan, for inviting us on a tour of your new homestead. The biggest problem I see is that it is so far from Auburn. But I know God can watch over you just as well there. Hugs, Marge