My ongoing saga with coyotes and my chickens continued last week. I wuz batching last weekend while Nevah wuz on a quilting expedition to Hamilton, Mo., the apparent epicenter of the quilting cottage industry and nirvana for quilters.
On Saturday morning I wuz sitting at our kitchen table sipping warmed-over coffee and watching television when I glanced out the double-doors leading to our west-viewing deck and spied a big ol’ male coyote with his leg hiked up relieving himself on the base of one of Nevah’s red rose bushes.
I knew if I clicked the door to shoot him from the deck, he’d hear me and bolt before I could get a shot. So, I retreated to my utility vehicle in the garage and retrieved my 12-gauge shotgun, loaded with #4 birdshot.
I carefully opened the north side door on the garage and watched. Sure enuf, “Mr. Hike Leg” slipped under the fence into the pasture just north of Damphewmore Acres. I could glimpse him through the grass and knew I had to shoot now or never.
So, I blasted away and initially flattened Mr. Coyote. I couldn’t run to a spot for a second shot since I wuz barefooted, so I quickly pulled on a pair of gum boots and went to investigate. Mr. Coyote wuzn’t where he went down and then I spied him 100 yards away limping into the brush by our pond. I fired a courtesy second shot in his direction just so my message “it’s dangerous around here” would soak in.
I don’t know if I killed Mr. Coyote or not. I hope I did, and quickly, because I detest making animals suffer. However, I will say I haven’t seen a coyote in the vicinity since Saturday.
While on the subject of chickens, my neighbor Harley Ryder, who does my chicken and bird dog chores while Nevah and I are traveling, has unfettered access to our garage and the refrigerator where I keep our eggs cool. He just drops by and helps himself to eggs whenever he need a dozen.
Well, I had to chuckle to myself a few days ago when I went to the fridge and spied a chicken picture fastened to the door. The picture was a Barred Rock hen, lounging on an outside roost, and the caption on the picture read: “My owner has to buy eggs at the grocery store because I’m a freeloading slacker.”
I got a good laugh because that statement wuz just about the truth for several months after last May’s chicken massacre at Damphewmore Acres.
Now, however, the new Barred Rock pullets are into full production and I have a plethora of eggs for all my family, friends, and customers.
Continuing on the subject of refrigerators, here’s a sad, but true, story about good intentions leading to unintended consequences.
A little background is necessary. Several years ago my son-in-law gave me a wine refrigerator that was given to him by a neighbor who was moving. The little cooler wuz designed to keep bottles of wine in the neighborhood of 55 to 60 degrees.
I’ve never used the cooler for wine, but I do use it to keep certain things cool, such as fruit, and also fishing worms.
Well, this year I had so many nice potatoes from the garden that I decided to try storing them in the wine cooler. I must have put in 25 pounds of spuds and I’ve got to say they were storing very well — not getting soft and mushy, not sprouting. I figgered I’d come across a very good potato-storing idea.
But, then things went inadvertently south. We’d used enuf of the spuds to open up a little spare space in the wine cooler. So, while Albie Kirky and his sons were visiting on their recent fishing trip, we stored the fishing worms overnight in the wine cooler.
When they left, what I didn’t know is that a container full of chicken livers wuz inadvertently left in the wine cooler, not in the freezer that I keep in the garage, too.
So, 10 days pass until I open up the wine cooler again. Aghast! The smell was horrible, maggots were crawling all around in the cooler, and my poor potatoes had thoroughly absorbed enuf of foul odor that I had to pitch all of them, then wash, disinfect, and air out the wine cooler.
Frankly, I don’t know how long it will take to get the wine cooler usable again. I’ve had a good chuckle over the whole incident. and learned an important lesson: Never store fish bait with food.
Farm husband’s text message to wife: “Honey, I got hit by a grain truck while I was running to town for combine parts. Paula brought me to the hospital. Doctors presently doing tests, taking X-rays. Severe blow to my head but not likely to have any lasting effects. Wound required 19 stitches. I have three broken ribs, a broken arm and compound fracture in the left leg. Will be in a cast for weeks. Love you.”
Wife’s responding text back: “Who’s Paula?”
How about some wise words for the week from Socrates, the ancient philosopher? He said about marriage: “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a good one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
And, these words from Groucho Marx: “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.” And these from Mark Twain: “Be careful reading health books. You might die from a misprint.” Have a good ‘un.