Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Thief


Our last visit to the neighborhood involved the egg gathering and the milking lesson. Today, we will focus on the same vicinity. Just below the chicken house (12) there is a little drainage ditch which goes through a twelve-inch culvert under the road. We had been losing some chickens to some feral culprit, the most likely guess being a skunk.

One evening while my mother's Aunt Bessie and her family were visiting us, there arose a clamor in the hen house. Dad said I should get the .25-20 down and take care of the situation. So mother's cousin, Phil, and I headed up the hill to the scene of the supposed carnage. Not that it makes any difference to the story, but though he was my mother's first cousin, Phil was a year younger than I.

Anyway, as we arrived at the henhouse, there ran from beneath it a critter. It headed down the hill and dived into the culvert. It was a skunk. I lay down in the ditch and shined the light into the tunnel. Placing the barrel of the rifle in the culvert, I pulled the trigger. It was a direct hit: in fact, it would have been impossible to miss. We got a length of bob warr from the shed, stuck it in the pipe, twisted it into the carcass, which we retrieved. The wound in the side was big as my hand (remember we are talking twelve-year old kid here).


This resolved the chicken-theft problem. Fifty years later, Phil was visiting me in Indiana and said, "Do you remember the night you shot the skunk?" Well, yes; but I probably hadn't thought of it in many decades.

8 comments:

John Cowart said...

Want to come to my house and gun down book-eating raccoons?

vanilla said...

John, raccoons can surely be pests; but I am out of the varmint removal business.

Secondary Roads said...

That chicken thief was a real stinker. :)

Vee said...

Wow! I had not thought about this for years. I do remember that Mom did not like for Dad to let you use the rifle. (I think I inherited her "worry bug.")

vanilla said...

Chuck, you know only the half of it!

Vee, I dunno. You did descend from a line of championship worriers. I think, though, that Mom and her Mother had reached the pinnacle of possibilities in that arena.

Lin said...

I didn't know skunks killed chickens! Wow. I never felt dislike towards an animal to kill it until we had the raccoon problem. Sometimes those creatures just go too far and can't co-habitate with the rest of us. That's when they gotta go. I feel guilty sometimes about the raccoons, but we had to do it to protect ourselves. Dang, they were aggressive.

vanilla said...

Lin, part of the hierarchy of life: the chicken eats the bug, the skunk eats the chicken, the man...
Skunk and raccoon are pretty beasts, but we have to do what we have to do.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

And they let you back in the house? I've been that close to a dying skunk and the result wasn't pretty.

Love the map