Thursday, August 15, 2013


You remember the blog post about my son standing on his mattress with a stethoscope held to the ceiling listening to a beehive in the attic? ("That's My Boy," March 12, 2012.) Well, amazing stuff continues to happen in that family.

After having succumbed to a continuous weasel attack the last time they raised chickens, my son and his family again have decided to get another bunch of chickens. This time they improved the housing and feeding routine to a new level of scientific methods. However, a fox has decided to outsmart their dog and pluck a chicken a week from the flock.

All that said, the chicken feed is stored in a clear plastic washtub and stored in the henhouse. The henhouse fencing now may keep a weasel out, but not the squirrels.

Recently, when feeding time came, the simple activity turned into a backyard disaster. Lo and behold, the see-through feed container contained a squirrel that had chewed its way into the bin. It frantically scooted about inside that container trying to find a way out. As not to confront the varmint inside the coop, the girl feeding the chickens pulled the container into the backyard. This excited the dog into a frantic rage and the squirrel even more into an elevated panic.

When the plastic lid was lifted, the show escalated to a point I would have paid to see it.

The dog jumped into the bin and wrestled the squirmy critter, chicken feed flying in all directions, until the dog had a firm grip on the intruder.

Well, the dog having won the battle, wondered off, with squirrel in mouth, to gloat over his triumph behind the shed.

It wasn't until later in the afternoon, when the dead, headless squirrel appeared on the back deck. Our ever curious three-year-old promptly picked the critter up, and carried it inside the house to show his Momma. The boy, holding the thing by one leg, sashayed into the kitchen, tugged on Mamma's apron, and proudly held his find up for her to appreciate.

At that point a panicked, screeching scream reverberated through the house bringing all occupants to see the cause for the high alarm call. With shattered eardrums, the three-year-old boy dropped the squirrel onto the kitchen floor and ran from the scene.

My son held his wife to keep her from fainting. Their daughter fanned her to catch her breath, their other daughter offered a glass of water. Their son respectfully removed the headless varmint from the floor and pitched it over the backyard fence.

When things settled down, everybody was accounted for except for the three-year-old. Where did he run to? The search posse spread out; to the basement, to the backyard, to the barn, to the bedrooms. No square yard in house or yard was un-searched. Finally, the kid looked up, with frightened eyes, from the corner inside the utility closet.