I came out to the coop and found this recently. Heaps of beautiful irridescent feathers and fluff. The problem was they were in piles, not attached to a chicken. Normally these feathers were strutting around on the tail of our beloved young rooster Woody.
I bought Woody as an olive egg chick this past spring (to lay olive colored eggs). I hoped he was a she. But of the 6 chicks I purchased for olive eggs, 5 turned out to be roosters. Only 1 was a hen and it turned out the fox liked her as much as I did. Honestly – olive eggs were not in my future this year. I was initially very disappointed in the roo:hen ratio but Woody grew into a beautiful, watchful, gentle rooster who respects us, the hens, and Taco. Taco rules the place. And Woody is ok with that, for now. These characteristics are noteworthy in a rooster these days. We have had our share of testy roosters in the hunt for a few good (chicken) men. Woody was a welcome surprise.
So finding a pile of Woody feathers was very saddening. Aaron and I walked around silently picking up the lovely feathers. The rest of the chickens were keeping close to the coop. We knew a fox had been here. Aaron followed the diminishing trail of feathers across the pasture and into the woods in search of answers. Nothing good. Disgusted, we headed for the ducks. The ducks always brighten my day – and it needed some serious brightening.
In the midst of filling the duck feeder we heard a car pull up. It was the pastor from across the road. The farm is directly across from the cutest church ever. I wasn’t quite in the mood for visiting but it was the pastor. We exchanged pleasantries and he cut to the chase. “Are you missing a rooster?” Aaron and I checked glances. Yes!! We chimed. “Does he look like this?” Mr. Danny asked scrolling through his cell phone photos. YES!!! “Oh ok. He’s over at the church. He was out back for a while but now he’s out front.” Mr. Danny seemed somewhat casual. Aaron and I were giddy. Onto the four wheeler we jumped and sped off.
Sure enough between the sanctuary and graveyard (aren’t we all) there stood Woody looking alarmed and tail-less. This was ripe with symbolism. Catching him would be a challenge in his state of panic. But we got lucky when he didn’t fit through the handicapped railing spindles and grabbed him securely.
Across the road and farm we could hear Taco and the other roosters crowing. Surely Woody had heard them and was trying to find his way home. We can only imagine that the fox had dropped Woody – by accident or due to fight – and Woody had no-tailed it as far and wide as he could. It’s worth noting that Woody ended up about a 1/2 mile in the opposite direction from where the feathers led. A long way home.
We assumed Woody would be traumatized and retreat to the quiet of the coop. But he did not. After our quick first aid care, he grabbed a bite to eat and resumed his post watching over the hens.
Mr. Danny promised to include a message in the Sunday sermon about Woody’s visit. I think he got a lay up for a sermon topic. Where do you go when being chased by evil? When you are scared, lost, hurt, and lonely? Woody made it clear. The Lord will lead you home. Amen buddy.