Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Guardian

The tracks we saw the other day did belong to a fox. I know this because Iris alerted us all to an intruder this afternoon - a big fat red fox with a bright white chest. How she spotted him all the way out in our back field is a wonder. I had to use binoculars to get a good look at him. The horses were not at all concerned with him hunting mice in their field and I doubt he’d ever be much of a threat to our sheep, but the Adventure Chickens in the nearby field might be another story.

When I was researching chickens last summer, I read that free range chickens won’t venture more than 200 yards from their coop. The Adventure Chickens never read that book. They climb hills, ford creeks, duck under fences, fly over fences, get stuck in fences, lay eggs in the barn loft, on the work bench in the tack room, in the horse stalls, and have even been caught trying to hitch rides into town. The nearest hitchhiking road is at least 300 yards from their coop. Thankfully they have a guardian angel watching them…and everything else on the farm.

Iris is the police. She is the police of everyone. She is the police of everything. She is the fun police. No one gets to do anything unless Iris grants her approval. No one. She not only watches our farm, but also the neighboring farms. She knows which cars and trucks are family and friends, and if a strange vehicle heads up Miss Stella’s driveway, Iris is up there by the time they shut off their engine. If dogs get into another neighbor’s cow field, Iris will let me know. Iris saw the fox, did not approve and her high pitched “red alert” yelp reached me all the way in the house.

Thank you, Iris. You are a good dog.

1 comment:

nancyneverswept said...

Reminds me of the time the novice sheep shearer was at our house. Come lunch break, said novice was found reading her Bible. Asked what she was doing, she replied that she was reading the part where God gave dominion over the beasts to Man; in hopes, of course, that it would help her with the sheep. Not missing a beat, I told her that only mattered if the sheep had read the book, too.


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