the fox

an oana befort watercolor
while feeding the pigs this tuesday's chilled morning nick caught a glimpse of a not-very-sly fox slipping through the woods and over the farm road. he followed her path as it seemed to be pointed distinctly towards our Unsuspecting. the chickens and pascal-the-duck. when he reached our brood he found them scattered, scared, and squawking. pascal was limp in the mouth of one fox. another was corralling our sweet chickens. fortunately for pascal he was too heavy for the little rascal's mouth (and i am oddly proud of his playing dead technique). she dropped him. and nick's pure human presence ---and a fair bit of yelling---scared the two red cloaked hellions away. but they got one of our little 3 month old chicks. one of mama-sister's babies. mama-sister was as devastated as a chicken could have capacity for such emotion. standing atop an old compost pile looking for her little-one.

it takes a tremendous amount of effort on my part to not allow such a traumatic morning to send me into the usual emotional tailspin that i imagine you are all quite accustomed to by now. i understand and respect the Hunger of the Fox. it's is becoming quite cold here. and food is seasonally scarce. i have historically always cheered for the protagonist Fox in any disney/pixar rendition of the timeless chicken-farmer-fox triangle. and i recognize the good fortune that i am only just now confronted, as a farmer, with this sordid triad. so i have been trying all day not to think of mama-sister's little baby chick. to not think of the 28 days she sat on her egg. to not think of all of the cold nights mama-sister had her two babies under each wing, keeping warm. to not think of mama-sister's other baby chick. who Lived. who no longer has her sister. i'm doing a fairly commendable job at keeping these thoughts at arm's length (save for writing such words). reminding myself of the ever-warned dangers of personification.  but then...is it commendable to keep Emotions for the Animals away? or is it just the beginnings of a dark stormy path of apathy and a wizened heart?

** this watercolor is one of my favorites from the Very Talented Oana Befort. you can visit her blog too which has fun giveaways of her art and and downloadable beauties. i highly recommend a visit.**


  1. You really are a great storyteller.
    I grew up with chickens and I'll never forget my first encounter with the hunter-prey-chircken triangle, except it wasn't a fox, but a mountain lion that got into the coup. My dad tried so hard to convince me that the resulting scene was caused not by the mountain lion but by the chickens fighting back, and that they were now off on adventures and fighting for the lives of chickens everywhere (chicken robin hoods). Part of me still likes to think of them that way...

  2. @leelee, that is the most adorable story of chicken robin hoods. it brought me a great big smile.


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