Henery Hawk from Looney Tunes.
“I’m a chicken hawk and I smell chicken.” His agenda was to catch a chicken.
Even though this cartoon was all fun and games, tonight I discovered this is a real life problem in my world.
I know there is a hawk around this place where I live. Probably more than one. Sometimes I see him sitting on top of an electrical pole, scouting for a field mouse or a snake in the prairie. Other times I see him swooping and flying low, at times hovering above the pasture grasses. I suspect he’s the one who killed the guinea bird that lived here when we bought the place.
Maybe you’ll remember the guinea bird who got hung up in the fence and broke his leg. Soon after, feathers were everywhere and he was something’s dinner. Probably the hawk.
I’m very aware that I need to protect my chicks from predators, hawks being one of them. I am hoping, however, that they won’t be a terrible problem.
I took my girls outside again today for some fresh air and exercise.
They were happy little peckers, enjoying the fenced in yard.
Every couple of minutes, I did a quick headcount to make sure none had run through the gap between the pickets of the fence.
They seemed to be staying put, so I left the yard to go just a few feet to feed the horses. Then I fed the dogs.
I glanced over the fence, pointing as I counted chicken heads. They were all accounted for. Still pecking around the grass, attempting to fly, and exploring the world outside. Innocent of all things evil.
I needed to get a bucket of fresh straw to put in their box before I took them in. The hay is in the next pasture. They would be fine. I would only be gone a minute. What could possibly go wrong?
I headed out with my bucket, fully aware of the danger they were in being left unattended.
Bending over to gather the straw, it was then that I noticed it. The ominous black shadow of outstretched wings. I gazed upward and saw the hawk, soaring, gliding through the sky.
A surge of panic overtook me. I envisioned my whole flock being annihilated in one fell swoop. That’s probably not likely, but you know how your mind runs away in a moment of panic.
I began to run. Sprinting through the pasture with a bucket of straw, staring at the sky, wondering if I could outrun a hawk, considering hollering and waving my arms. I must have looked like a complete goonie bird to my neighbor who of course, drove down the road at that exact time.
I managed to get to the yard, despite sucking wind. Heart pounding, I grabbed up the chicks two or three at a time, put them in a box, chased the last lone one for a good 70 seconds, and dragged them safely in the house.
They’re sleeping peacefully now. Completely unaware of the danger they narrowly escaped.
They may never leave the house again.
Dang that chickenhawk.