Morning farm chores have taken on a new urgency, unseen before the Great Coyote Massacre of 2007. The small envelope between darkness and dawn is now a crucial time, a time in which the coyotes are still on the prowl and Lauren, the sole surviving turkey (irony noted), gets the urge to alight from her roost in the over-the-coop Palo Verde tree and take a morning stroll. Why she does this I don’t know. She’s seen bloodshed; she’s seen an all-out poultry massacre as a matter of fact but she still needs to get out. I suppose I can identify with my turkey namesake.
It is during this ominous timeframe that we Pretend Farmers are on tenterhooks.
Has she come down from the tree yet? Is the yard safe? Is Spartacus on guard?
On most days, it works out just fine and our worries are for naught, that is as long as we do our duty as good farmers and open the coop gate for Lauren, stand back, and let her decide on her own (because no one living on these premises named Lauren can be forced into doing anything against her will) to deign to enter the enclosure. At this point, we open the locked-up hen house to witness the pullets and cockerels pop out the door and throw scratch to one and all.
By the way, the GCM-surviving elder stateswomen stay perched on their roost, staring down their beaks with disdain at the grain-gobbling teenagers.
They are so new poultry.
On Monday, however, all went to Hell in a handbasket. As I have told you before, we Supermaxed the duck pen. Impenetrable (knock on wood) steel mesh covers its ceiling, chicken wire and rebar is dug three feet into the ground around it, and a block wall that one day I will get around to painting finishes the sides. The chicken coop now has ten-foot fencing and similar ground reinforcement.
What used to be the turkey pen has been neglected. Sadly abandoned, its structure has begun to resemble the rotting tobacco shacks of my North Carolina youth. Since we do not have any more turkeys except for Lauren who prefers the company of chickens to no one, it has not been Supermaxed. Back to Monday.
With three bloodhounds in tow, Hunky Husband headed out to insure Lauren would follow her routine and that our fine feathered friends were all safe. Instead, what he found was a scrawny and wily coyote in the abandoned turkey pen. I suppose normally the coyote, seeing a human heading his way, would have swiftly jumped over the non-Supermaxed gate and high-tailed it out of there. You should all know by now, however, that we are not normal and normal things do not happen to us. This is my life; this is how it has always been. David just happened to acquire it by marriage.
David opened the gate but the coyote, paralyzed by the fear of three snarling and bellowing 120+ pound bloodhounds whose volume out-crescendo-ed the Met just backed up and snarled (the featured photo is a re-enactment). He tried to exit via the back of the pen but that part was Supermaxed with the ten foot fence and although he made it a good seven or eight feet, ten was too much for him. Enter David, assuming his Biblical namesake and persona.
Armed with thick pigskin gloves, he grabbed the coyote and the beast bit him (but thankfully did not break the skin or that would have been a whole ‘nuther story). Chaos ensued and I’m actually not completely sure how the match went for a while (and could certainly not give you a take down, reversal, or pin point count) but, in long, David managed to muzzle the creature with clenched hand and throw him over the ten foot fence to the mercy of the German Shepherds next door. Adrenaline is a beautiful thing.
Thus ends the tale (and maybe the tail) of the RVCWA’s (Rio Verde Coyote Wrestling Association’s) latest match. Hunky Husband came out the victor and all the farm animals, both fibered and feathered, stood high and proclaimed, “I am David.” (I suppose it was a pre-emptive measure in case the coyotes were planning to punish the man.) Me? I’m just proud of him… and also glad it wasn’t me out there.