Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Rest of the Story

This appears as the second post of the day, because  after I posted last night, I edited the post, and then obviously forgot to RE-post!  So Wednesday's and Thursday's posts are here.

You will be reading them out of sequence, I'm afraid. 

Tonight, Keith and I were supposed to go to dinner for my "service" anniversary, five years at the company for which I work.  It was to be held at a gorgeous golf club in Parkville, about 25 miles from us across the Missouri River.  I no longer do much night driving, because my eyes are so bad, but I depended on Keith to drive us there.  After last night's events, we had decided that I would come home a little early, arranged with my boss.... we would lock up all the chickens safely, and then change clothes and drive over to our dinner. 

The best laid plans....

When I got home at 4:15, I changed, fed the dogs, and then went out to the big henhouse while Keith fed the llamas.  As I walked in, the birds, some of whom roost in the rafters always, were down on the roosts, on the floor, and on the nest box that hangs on the wall.  I knew something was very wrong.  Keith got the big flashlight and went and got a ladder, looked up in the rafters everywhere, and did not find anything.  When we went out in the henyard, we found one of Teeny's three babies dead, a hole torn in her side.  Broad daylight.  I came back in and called a vet tech at work and had her google possums really quickly.  We found out they do not carry rabies (marsupials)... and that they CAN burrow... and they are nocturnal.  It worried us that the little pullet had been killed in broad daylight, and the other birds obviously were freaked out, on both sides of the dividing fence.  The big hole in front of the door worried us, and especially when Keith went around the side of the henhouse and found another the same size.  It has a cement block on it tonight, and the one in the front, a big container of Beau's old horse supplement. 

Keith decided to stay home from the dinner, because although we rounded up the big henhouse flock, we could not get the little henhouse side all to go in in time to get ready and leave, and we knew the critter was still around. 

I repeat... I am a BAD night driver, and I was about to go onto a highway where the deer run, where there is very little light, into a very nice residential area with little lighting, to a place I had never been.  I was a nervous wreck leaving.  Yes, we had Mapquested it.   Yes, I got lost.

By the time I got there, I was so worried about driving home that I gave my apologies and left after our president had made his remarks.  They were kind enough to send our dinners home with me... lobster tail and steak... great green beans... mashed potatoes... wonderful salads that we are each taking to work tomorrow for lunch... and the piece de resistance... a flan, and a choclate bombe filled with sauce, with strawberry or apricot sauce to pour on.  Oh MY.

When I got home, I changed and took Lilly out to the henyard.  Keith shook his head and said "I took the flashlight out... everyone is locked up and I didn't see anything".  I said that I would just let Lil check, and I opened the gate and led her in.  It took her all of 30 seconds!!!!  She found a huge possum and shook it hard.

I left her in there and ran back to the house to get Keith, who made me stay in.  He went out, got Lil out, and shot the darn thing.  He made sure it was dead.  Lilly is frightened of gun shots, I should tell you, and I had gone onto the porch and she came running to me post haste. 

When Keith came in, he told me it was a huge possum.  I called next door to our neighbors Troy and Kathy to reassure them about the shots, and they told me that the other night, Kathy's daughter had gone out to her car in the dark, and a huge possum had frightened her and chased her back to the back porch.  We think something was probably wrong with it to have attacked in the daylight.

So, this girl wins the day again:

Even though she was dreaming about a chicken dinner in this picture, she is the heroine of the day again!  That's the second time she's found the varmint in 30 seconds or less!

That's our good Lil!


  1. Good girl Lil! Sorry to hear about it taking one of the chicks. I worry about that often with our girls.

  2. This is Keith. Just so all of you know, I hate to kill animals, even predators. But this was one scary looking possum that had chased a person once and attacked the chickens in broad daylight ... not commom behavior at all. And it was one of the biggest possums I've ever seen. Our dogs are isolated from loud noises most of the time and very sensitive, so when they heard the Glock in action they got very scared. The Glock 22 cal .40 is a devastating handgun, so the possum died quickly and didn't suffer. BTW, I enjoy reading MA's blog and all of your comments.

  3. Gotta' love those dogs. Mary G.

  4. Way to go, Lil! A good dog is a real blessing.
    I know what you mean about driving at night. I think in my case, it's called 'getting older'. My eyes just don't see as good at night as they used to. I especially have a hard time on the interstate with so much traffic and all the oncoming lights.
    Have a good weekend!

  5. Excellent job, Lil! We worry so much about our chickens being attacked after losing a few to a fox in broad daylight. And then someone's dogs getting out and raiding our chicken yard:-(( So sorry about your little chickie.

  6. Good girl! Sorry you had a loss from it.


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