About Dana

My photo
I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lurkers at Midnight

What were you doing at midnight last night? Normally, I would be snoozing, but there was some ruckus in the hen house. Let me back up a little.

At 11:30 pm, I was stepping out of a long, hot bath. You know, the kind that makes you want to crawl right into bed? I noticed some chickens cackling.....what? For those of you who have no experience with the critters, chickens go into the hen house on a perch each night to roost. They get very sleepy and stay that way until the sun comes up the next morning.

I decided something must really be amiss for all the chickens to be making such noise. After I went downstairs and got the trusty flashlight with like 2 zillion lumens, I peered out the back door and shone the light into the coop. The chickens were out of the hen house and running around in the chicken yard, trying to escape.

Then from the right corner of the pen, my light picked up two shining eyes....an intruder! I mentally tried to decide if this was an intruder I could take. It didn't lunge toward me (of course I was probably blinding it), so I decided to go take a closer look.

Remember I just stepped out of the bath? I now had on my thin bathrobe and mud boots. Let me tell you, I was some kind of attractive. But I digress.

Turns out, when I got a little closer I saw the two eyes belonged to an opossum. Then I saw two more eyes. No, it was not an opossum wearing glasses, silly. It was TWO of those scoundrely rascals. Dang it! How did they get in again? I thought Mr. Country Belle solved this problem a few months ago (see the past post below under Related Stories).

Speaking of Mr. Country Belle, I needed to wake him up. Now that sounds simple enough, but that is a feat just slightly ranked below me turning a back flip in mid-air in a bathrobe and mud boots. So I trudged in the house and back upstairs (carefully removing my "chicken" boots first) and finally succeeded in rousing him, explaining I had no way to hold the 2 zillion lumen flashlight, keep the chickens from escaping when I opened the door, and herd two opossums out of the coop.

Ever tried to herd an opossum? They are too dumb to walk in a straight line. It was going to take a little more thought than just shuffling them out of the pen.

After some unsuccessful wrangling between myself, Mr. Country Belle, and two opossums, (Me: Get that thing away from me!) (Mr. TCB: Get the door open!) we fashioned a tool like a dog catcher uses. Only ours was made at midnight from scraps found in the garage (a PVC pipe, screw, and length of rope) and in about 3 minutes.

But it worked. Now I only have to figure out how those scoundrels got in in the first place.

I can't complain - mission accomplished, no chickens died of a heart attack, and we still live in the country. It's all a part of it.


Related Stories
Strangers in the Night