The movie was over, my crocheting project put away and I had started creating a necklace at eleven-thirty pm. There’s nothing like burning the candle at both ends. As I sat there trying to decide what beads to add next, the sound of a chicken alerted me to danger in the hen-house. I jumped quickly up, grabbed a flashlight and dashed outside. You never hear a chicken at night unless there’s a problem. Even a weak, quiet bwhat chicken noise like I heard spells trouble.
As I peered through the fence beside the garage, I spied a mound of Carol’s feathers on the ground. I had to run around the garage, through the yard and out to the gate behind the garage to get into the chicken run. Just inside the gate was the culprit a big, fat possum eating Carol’s shoulders. He looked up at me, his eyes glowing green in the beam of the flashlight, blood smearing the corners of his mouth. I threw the netting off the gate, quickly opening it, praying I wasn’t too late. Carol didn’t move as the possum dropped her and scampered off to the corner of the run with me in pursuit. If I’d had a shovel, this would be the end of the story for the possum, I was that mad. I knew I needed to see how he managed to get in through the netting so I kept scaring him until he climbed the fence and exited through a hole he’d chewed.
Sadly, I turned and looked Carol over. She was dead. I carried her out of the run as chickens are cannibalistic and will eat a dead chicken, which will create an onslaught of pecking and drawing blood until eventually, they kill the weaker chicken.
I laid Carol down in the old collard patch where I planned to bury her, went to the garage, retrieved a shovel and buried Carol in a deep hole I dug under the newspaper and mulch I’d covered the bed with just the week before. Next I found some blue baling twine and went back to the run and stitched up the hole in the netting.
The Have-A-Heart trap was currently being used as part of the barrier on top of the roost box. I untangled it from the netting and set it up by the gate to the chicken run baited with some dog food.
The next day, I bought some really smelly cat food to bait the trap with and placed the trap outside the run by the notorious corner where the possum had made the hole in the netting. So far, no possum.
Amazingly, Rosie and Charlotte each laid and egg the next day. I would have thought the trauma of losing a buddy would have shaken them up more than that. What do I know?