Friday, July 25, 2008

the other dog

that other dog came back. i assume that the malamute is off somewhere dying or dead. my neighbor called and said "that little dog is out hunting your chickens this morning." i did not delay. grabbed my gun and headed out the the door. sure enough there he was. he was startled by me and headed for the road. he's obviously learned that the road is a safe zone. not today my little friend.

i listened for cars and looked both ways. as i raised my gun i thought "you have killed your last chicken." i blasted him as he trotted in defiance thinking he was safe. not today my little friend. we were getting twelve to fifteen eggs per day. now we only get three to five. our pullets should be laying in forty five days--albeit they did kill one of them too. i feel a little safer and more secure this morning.

the sad part is, i feel a little guilty since at the beginning of summer we clipped all the chickens wings to keep them out of the garden. this dramatically encumbered the ability to escape predators. sad. our dogs should be of a defensible age in about six weeks. for now i have to be vigilant and protect my family's food source.

on a happy note, we plan to go to the creek again this afternoon. i went to the dollar store and got each of the kids an inflatable water toy. they were such good kids yesterday they deserved them. toly was sad because i didn't arrive with one for him. he usually stays home with mom, so i didn't think that i wasn't being fair. we promptly hid the offending toys and things settled down.

tristan and i have been playing chess almost daily. i can see his gradual progression. he has started looking for consequences and threats in his moves. he gets mad when i don't make the retort move he would like. i keep explaining to him "i have free will and can do whatever i want. you should try to anticipate all of my possibilities." i am very proud. he is only five. he'll probably be beating me regularly in a couple of years. my strategy will be to really try when he beats me over and over. then i'll point out that i'm gonna read a chess strategy book. i hope that it will teach him if a person wants to better themselves all they have to do is read and research toward a goal. am i planning ahead too far? i have never read any chess book and have always wanted to. this will be a perfect excuse.

i picked a big bowl of tomatoes from the garden last night. we ate most of them in stuffed cabbage in fresh tomato sauce. it was delicious.

kassi predicited that rome will be born this morning. tabitha better get with it--only five and an half hours left.

toly has almost gone completely out of his mind with baby hormones from tabitha's breast milk. he has become a little addict. the pre-baby tension is pretty thick around here.

13 comments:

Madeline said...

How exciting. That tension is fierce. I was two weeks late with both of mine and those were long days. I'm glad that you got the dog. You have the only good excuse there is to do so. Your farmer boy is only five?! Shocking. He is such a help I thought he was older. Jesse loved chess at five too and when he got older started beating us. I need to get a book.

R. Sherman said...

Good job. You'll sleep easier.

Cheers.

Phoebe Gleeson said...

I'm glad you nailed that little f*****. And I'm not one to cuss.

jenny said...

Looking forward to reading about the newest arrival!

Regarding your last post, I like coming here, so don't close up shop any time soon! I learn a lot about gardening when I get here and I never thought about drying onions either, though i always buy dried minced onions.

karl said...

madeline, tristan is a big help. he earned another trip to the creek today with his onion peeling last night. he peeled almost every onion. seven pounds of smallish onions is no small task.

r sherman, thanks

phoebe, i called him that several times.

jenny, don't worry i don't think i'm going anywhere. i still feel very indebted to the internet for much of our information. many times i feel like i'm repackaging stuff i've read. documenting the personal experience is what makes it real for me. inspiration comes in many forms. if i can motivate or inspire someone to care just a little bit more about our earth it will all be worth it. this little butterfly will still keep flapping trying to make a hurricane on the next spin of our mother.

my personal little rebellion is that i don't use caps. i'll have to get paid before i use capitalization;)

mamabug said...

Don't feel guilty for protecting your farm & family. Dogs can just as easily attack small children.
I hope Tristan is right about Rome!

Finally, I wanted to share this video, since you are often the one who shares interesting information. It's an argument about why we have to address global warming... not from the point of view of it being the green thing to do, but from the logical argument of risk management.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

uncle matt said...

Oh, boy! More time at the crik! That's what they call it around your parts, right?
No caps is your rebellion? Explain the grammar and spelling. We on the West Coast wish you and Tabitha (and the other babies) smooth sailing when Rome decides he's ready. We can't wait to see the first pictures!

nathan said...

Karl,
Glad the dog issue is over. I used to use a pellet gun, and one or two on the rump is usually all it would take. My dad lost all 12 chickens in one night. the next night after making a milk jug decoy, rigging up a steel cable and two cinder blocks the neighborhood lost one nighttime prowler that barked.
Per your previous post yes the blogosphere is a little smaller and sadder without Ron. Karl i am a daily reader but have only left a comment about 3 times. you can tell by my great typing skills.
Nathan

Ron said...

I am so glad you got that dog! A dog running loose can sure cause a lot of damage. We've been pretty lucky here. Hopefully, your dogs become good Defenders of the Food.

I debated on clipping the chickens' wings too, but so far they have not ventured into the garden. Apparently, even a chicken can learn to avoid a [small charger] electric fence... so far anyway.

I think it is great how you are teaching your boy ways of acquiring a new skill on his own.

Ron

Robbyn said...

Awesome to see you working alongside your kids :) We love your family from afar and learn so much from you guys. Hopefully we can be in the thick of decision making on our own place soon...till then we muddle through the preliminary processes and trudge along. I'm passing along an award to you from my site because your blog is a regular stop for us...we just enjoy it so much. We're so glad you guys are still hanging in there, and we're excited that another little omelay will be with you soon :)

Wendy said...

I love the bit about playing chess with your son. It's incredible how quickly kids pick-up on the game. My husband was playing with our eleven year old for a long time, and she actually got pretty good, but he's one of those that does read the chess strategy books, and she didn't get quite that far, yet ;).

Anyway, we do the same thing, in that when there's a question, the answer is often in a book, which we often have right on our shelves ;).

Congrats on getting the dog! I'm sorry about your chickens. It's tough. I had the wing-clipping debate with myself. We have a very tiny yard with neighbors on both sides, close, and I wanted to keep the hens in OUR yard. Before I got around to clipping their wings, we had a raccoon visitor, though, and a few months later, a couple of neighborhood dogs killed our rabbit. So, any thoughts of clipping wings were very short-lived. Unfortunately, that means they don't get to free-range as much as they'd like. Oh, well.

edifice rex said...

I had a feeling one or both of those dogs would be back; glad you had better luck this time. It's sad we have to do that because people won't take care of their own animals.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are protecting your farm and family. You are also demonstrating that it is ok to destroy others "property." Too bad something couldn't have been worked out in a peaceful manner. Where these dogs strays? or someone elses pets?
I am sorry for the loss of your chickens.
Peace to you.
Jill

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