Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Thief Leaves A Calling Card???

Saturday Morning Excitement!
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2008 jim otterstrom
There's a very agile young black labrador who lives somewhere nearby and gets loose almost every morning for a little romp around the neighborhood. He comes down our street to chase the Cottontail Rabbits who live across the road and I've seen him effortlessly jump our next door neighbors 4 foot fence. I'm sure the only reason he hasn't come into our yard is that Dallas always challenges him at the gate.
I know he's been interested in our chickens for some time because I've caught him casing the joint and trying to figure out how to get closer to them. So, I only let the chickens out in the main yard when I'm here, with Dallas, to keep an eye on things.
Well, Saturday morning, I let the birds out about 7:30 and went back in the house for a few moments, to do something or other, when our friend Meredith called with some questions about caring for her young hens.
Mer, and her partner Deb, have acreage on the outskirts of civilization at the east end of the valley, and, at the very moment that I was suggesting they should be observant---for coyotes, bobcats, stray dogs, or any other critters which might jump their fence (not to mention hawks) while their hens are out free-ranging---I looked out my own front window to see the escape-artist labrador running up the street, toward our house, with our little red banty-rooster, Boris, in his mouth!
Dallas ran to the fence to confront him as I was coming out the door, but the obviously jubilant dog just ran on by at full speed.
Sure enough, I looked all around, and the hens were contentedly hunting and pecking about the yard, but there was no sign of Boris.
I was feeling very badly for the little rooster, who, as a sickly chick near death, had been nursed back to health with a shot of vodka, and I was also wondering how I was going to tell Jordanne, the young lady who raised Boris and gave him the vodka cure. I had promised her he would have a good life! I was wondering too, how the dog got in and out of our yard without Dallas noticing, and why I didn't hear any commotion.
Just then, the lab came running back down the street, but I couldn't see if he still had the rooster until he got right in front of the house, and no, he no longer had Boris in his jaws.
Then, after I came out from behind some trees, I saw the reddish pile of animal lying lifelessly in the road, dead-center of our property. I was heading out to pick up the remains of my deceased rooster when I looked down, and there was Boris, standing right in front of me, whole, healthy, and all full of himself.
I ran back to the house, to grab my other glasses, then returned to the scene of the crime where I found the above-pictured Halloween wolf-mask heaped in the road.
That show-off dog had found this awesome looking mask somewhere and was carrying it, snout first, in his mouth so all I could see was the fake red fur, which, from a distance, with my reading glasses on, looked to be the same size and color as little Boris.
Needless to say, Peggy and I both had a good long chuckle over our little tragedy turned comedy, the Resurrection Of Boris, and that rascal lab with his delightful wolf-mask, which is now in our possession. Peggy was especially giddy (actually in tears) because I'm always teasing her about not being able to see without her glasses.
But, the would-be chicken thief has left his calling card, and I've taken his blunt warning seriously.
The chickens will not be in the front yard unless I'm out there with them!
I must admit though, that I'm learning to admire this little black lab who so aptly communicated his desire for some fresh chicken.
The honesty in his cleverness (whether intentional or otherwise) has somewhat endeared the wayward dog to me, but I'll be watching him very closely, Jordanne.
I guess this was our belated Trick or Treat!

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Anonymous wildside said...

Whew! Boris!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

Well, I guess everyone gets a little Halloween this time of year---even four legged creatures.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous pablo said...

That's what dogs do. You can't really blame them for their instinct. All you can do is try to control them.

Good story.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous mary anne said...

Trust a lab to give you a good story! ;-) And I can see Peggy perfectly clearly in my mind's eye, laughing until she has to wipe her eyes.

4:30 PM  
Blogger CatHerder said...

I think Boris deserves another shot of vodka!

5:12 PM  
Blogger roger said...


go boris.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Linda Navroth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:25 AM  
Blogger David said...

go to community market and buy that dog some chicken, ok?

7:34 PM  
Blogger dragonfly183 said...

what a cute story

5:45 AM  
Blogger gfid said...

great story! a rooster with good karma, misguided law enforcement and a happy-go-lucky theif! how could a chicken named Boris, who was 'weaned' on vodka, NOT come out the winner?

7:49 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Just calling by for the first time in a long while (I shall have more time for blog reading now I am retired) This is such a wonderfully written tale - it ought to have a wider audience!

11:39 PM  

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