Friday, March 16, 2012

Farewell Ferdinand

Mille Fleur Bantam Rooster

I don't have a picture of our bird Ferdinand.  This photo is the closest likeness I could find online.  Ferdinand's story begins this time last year.  My mom was up from southern California staying with my kids so Jason and I could take a couple nights off.  We stopped on the way home and purchased a couple of teeny tiny puffballs with beaks for the kids.  These fluffy bits of happiness were even smaller than regular chicks because they are a special breed of chickens called Bantams.  They grew and grew and eventually reached almost a whole pound each!  Kaela had been nagging and NAGGING for a family of chickens where the mommy and daddy bore their very own chicks.  In her words, "then we would never have to buy chicks again!"  So we were delighted to find out that our two chicks were going to be happily married!  We named the female Francesca and the male Ferdinand.  We marveled at how Ferdinand began to take his job as man of the house VERY seriously.  What a good rooster he was.  He did his job well and we were all infatuated with our handsome beast!  Jason made a darling little house for the lovely couple and put it out back where we could all enjoy them from inside the house.  They seemed perfectly happy...

Today while I was washing our breakfast dishes, I heard some serious squawking.  I looked out the window and to my horror I saw two dogs, a large husky and a small mutt.  The owner was nowhere to be found.  Now, let me tell you I've seen many loose, lost or stray dogs in our yard.  Usually I just go out and shew them away.  But the husky outside this morning looked more determined than the dogs usually do.  He was fixated on hunting the ladies (hens). What followed was pure pandemonium.  Squawking like you can't imagine... Our sweet Turkey (yes, that's her name) flew off narrowly escaping her demise.  I was outside banging on pots with spoons, yelling, jumping up and down and flailing my arms like a crazy woman.  Unfortunately, instead of being intimidated, the large husky turned on me growling and snarling and making it clear that I was not in charge in my own backyard.  He wasn't going anywhere until he had his hunt.  That was when he noticed the little house... I won't be gruesome.  Suffice it to say that what ensued was heinous and ended with me lobbing pots at the horrid beast while my children screamed and cried their little eyeballs out.  I couldn't get rid of him and wound up calling Jason.  One attempted dog attack, one pitchfork, some hollering and a 911 phone call later the beast found himself kenneled and being hauled off to dog jail.  I suppose we were lucky that Jason escaped without being bitten and that the kids were safe and we only lost our precious Ferdinand.  But in all honesty, we feel robbed.  I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to defend my territory. We miss Ferdinand and we never got to watch him and Francesca make a family.

Today was a sad day.  Farewell, Ferdinand.  

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