I'm not one for startin' feuds. Okay. We all know that I am. But those are personal feuds at work with folks who touch my stuff or even TAKE it and pretend it's their own swag. Normally, I leave the neighbors alone. I'M not the one who has been shot at twice in one week. However...a new feud is brewin' on the horizon.
This morning I woke to the sound of chicken panic and scuffling claws on the back porch. Not uncommon. The dogs have their food pans on the opposite wall of my bedroom. If they don't finish their meal, the chickens peck at the dry dog food. Sometimes, the dogs catch them in the act. And don't see eye-to-eye with the snacking chickens. I drifted off to sleep again. Summer vacation is THE BOMB!
The Pony woke me shortly after 7:00. "Get up. Grandma is going to be here." He's spending the night. So he wanted to get everything packed and ready so he could run out the door the minute he saw her in the driveway. She agreed to pick him up because it gave her somewhere to drive her truck, and keep its battery charged. Just on more service The Pony offers. I stayed in bed a few more minutes. I could hear that the Great Canine-Fowl Disagreement of '12 had moved to the front yard. Squawking and barking instead of the usual crowing competition of the six roosters.
When I opened the living room shades, I saw our three mutts sitting under my lilac bush, watching the neighbors' dog chase our entire chicken flock! It was a monumental task, but this dog is young and spry and strong. She darted willy-nilly, feathers flying, as smaller fowl factions broke away from the main group. Of course I yanked open the front door and screamed, "GET OUT OF HERE, DOG! GO HOME! GET OUT! LEAVE THOSE CHICKENS ALONE!"
Because a simple, "BAD DOG! GET!" would not have been as satisfying.
That dog looked at me, all smooth-muscled, short-black-furred, white-faced-and-underbellied, red-collared, and smirking...then trotted off across the road, past the blanketed horses, and home. Good thing. Because I re-entered the Mansion to search for a gun. Funny how I couldn't find one, what with Farmer H's well-stocked arsenal. I don't know where he keeps them. Don't wanna know. The only ones in plain sight are the three "bad guns" in the wooden gun case under the basement stairs. They're "bad" because they're cheap. Nothing to write home about. The decoys that Farmer H wants thieves to steal instead of searching out his metal gun cabinet and industrial safe with all the good stuff.
I had no intention of getting a real gun. It's not like I was after that crazy man who threatened to shoot Farmer H. No, I was looking for my childhood BB gun. The one that one of the four boys broke somewhere along my life, that Farmer H has put away for safekeeping until he gets it repaired. Yeah. Maybe that's why we don't have horses. He would always be closing the barn door after they left.
My mom interrupted my weapon search by driving her truck down the driveway to the menacing barks and spirited charge of our own fleabags. If only they had applied such ardor to the canine intruder, I would not need firearm protection.
After The Pony left, the #1 son rose and shone, informing me that the pellet pistol was in the living room closet, not the front door closet. I am not very practiced with it. Last I heard, Farmer H was shooting #1 with it, asking how much it hurt. I am going to have that implement of distraction ready Wednesday morning.
I don't want to kill that dog. Only hurt it enough to make it think twice about chasing our chickens. Farmer H suggested birdshot. I think pellets or BBs are good enough. Just to sting, not break the skin. You may think that's cruel, but I'm sure the chickens think it's cruel when dog teeth sink into their backs. That's nature for you. Two motivators. Hunger and pain. I doubt that McCoy Hound is hungry, because many a morning she beats the chickens to their Ol' Roy snack on the back porch. I don't begrudge her that trespass. I'm sure our own dogs eat other dogs' food on their morning rounds. And if they are observed chasing other people's fowl, lock and load. Hillmomba justice.
This is the first time I've caught the McCoy Hound chasing our chickens. I aim to make it the last.
More on the Hillbillies and McCoys Feud as it develops.