Walking through the snow yesterday, I came across a clearing, and in the middle there, I saw a coyote. He was hunting, focused downward, listening for the slightest rustle beneath the snow. Ears perked, head tilted, body arched… ready to pounce. And pounce he did, a few times as I stood in the cover of the trees, quietly observing before resuming my walk. The best mousers on the mountain. But not the best fighters. Our rooster proved tougher.
Earlier in the week, while we were sitting at the table having lunch, we noticed our mare, Tres, getting very agitated, snorting, stomping, then running to the other side of the yard with her baby at her heels. Horses are very good watch dogs. Better, I dare say, than old, deaf dogs. When the horses all stare in a direction, you might want to look because chances are, you’ll see a fox or a deer, or even a truck on the road over a mile away. And if they huff and get worked up, I go check it out fast. By paying attention to their warnings, they’ve notified us of moose, bear, elk, and unwanted neighbors.
Just a moment after observing Tres’ agitation, we heard that distinctive sound of chickens in distress. We grabbed the shotgun and ran…
No need for our protective services. By the time we opened the door, the coyote was already far away and running fast, with his tail between his legs. Forrest went to check on his chickens, counted, and all were there.
But the rooster was missing his tail feathers!
We figured it was the same little fellow who’s been hanging around all winter, and staying out of trouble. Our “trained” coyote. The one who won’t come this side of the corral fence, remember? But I suppose no one told him he couldn’t come in the back way… where we can not see. He must have done that, then found a place to squeeze in the chicken yard fence, and hoped for a gourmet feast. But what he found instead was one bad rooster.
We don’t think our little coyote will come back and try that again. I imagine he’s too embarrassed. And that’s one rooster that won’t end up in the pot.