My fellow blogfans, I come to you today with a heavy heart. Here is the back story.
This morning I awoke before the pale yellow dawn (having set my alarm for 5:00 instead of 6:00. When that happens I go ahead and get up, knowing that I won't sleep well during that lottery hour anyway. After packaging up eggs to take to my daughter, I gathered my things, picked up a book and headed to the car. Then I remembered I hadn't fed the cats.
I went back inside and put out food for the little darlings, used my inhaler, turned off those two lights I had left on, and locked up again. Then I remembered to let the chickens out so they could wander all day, knowing I would be back before dark to shut them up.
(cue the minor music)
I spent the morning at a swim meet, cheering on my eldest grandchild as he swam his heart out for the King Marlins Swim Club. I later learned I had watched him swim in a relay at the beginning of the meet but hadn't known he was in it. He had fun, I talked to several really nice people and kept Abbey informed of B's progress via texts. Abbey and her M. were at Tinker Air Base with the Girl Scouts, learning about the communication planes.
Lunch happened. I took M. to get some special warm riding gloves so she wouldn't freeze her pinkie fingers off at lessons. We visited a friend, stopped by the spice shop and hugged Uncle Able and the faithful crew. Then we searched out a Goodwill shop to see if they had an orphaned snow village houses that needed to come to the farm. Nope, no luck. We both really needed to 'use the facilities' by that time so we stopped by Braums, which was right there....and then we were obligated to buy some ice-cream for the Richards family and ourselves before we left.
By the time I got her home, visited a bit and headed north, the sun was sinking. I made it home before it dark and the first thing I heard was a single chicken yelling in outrage. Hmmmm....The cats were a little edgy as well, so I headed to the chicken house to shut the girls up for the night, safe from the coyotes. One of the Buffs (Emmetts) was walking around in circles and ran into and out of the coop twice, following me as I filled the waterer. (I had a bad feeling about this.) We were short some hens, but I thought they might be taking their sweet time coming inside.
No. As it turns out, they were not taking their sweet time, they were dead. It amazes me how this happens, but it does every time. I can walk right through the yard, past and through scattered feathers, and I may even walk right past a dead chicken, but if I am not expecting that, I won't see them. I did see them when I came back through. One of the Honeys lying in a heap south of the tree house. A Emmett, the one with the darker tail feathers, was in the pond, drowned. Another Emmett was beside the sidewalk. All of them killed, but not eaten, not even taken away; just killed and left.
Whatever it was, did take one of the Marys and it looked as if she put up a terrific fight all the way across the yard. There was no body, so I assume she is either being something's supper, or she escaped and is hiding up in one of the trees for the night. I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.
That leaves us with 8, the number I originally planned on having. Here is a list of the survivors: Both of the smaller, thinner hens we called 'Lucy'; one Barred Rock 'Honey'; one Buff Orpington 'Emmett'; and.....wait for it....FOUR 'Marys'. (As a side note: the Marys lay the largest eggs and are reliable layers. They were the friendliest with the grandkids and will squat down and let themselves be picked up and carried about by small hands. They get the grand prize.) The Buffs and the Barred Rocks are always the ones that get killed in massacres here on my place. They are too heavy and slow to get away I guess. I don't know.
I buried the victims in the garden, but they will probably be sniffed out, dug up, and require a second burial. I may end up tossing them over the creek bank. So sad. We all knew it would happen. What surprises me is that it happened in broad daylight. They knew I was gone. I was being stalked and was unaware.