Remember those fables you were told as a child about the sly fox and the dumb chicken or goose? Well, they are based on fact, hard, cold facts. No word better described our intelligent, resident fox.
Red consistently fooled our dumb guard dog by laying his foxy scent in pointless circles. He knew Shadow, our dog, would follow his nose mindlessly and not use his eyes. However, we soon discovered Red was even more adept at nabbing chickens than outwitting our dog.
A few years ago, Michael was by the house when suddenly a streak of red caught his eye. He realized, with surprise, that this was our resident fox, out in broad daylight.
Michael lost sight of him for a few seconds but he yelled for our dog a moment later when he saw a large, white-feathered chicken in the fox’s mouth. Red looked over at the dog, who had leaped excitedly over a garden bed. The smart fox decided the heavy chicken wasn’t worth dying for and he immediately dropped his supper.
Quick thinking as always, even in a crisis, Red ran into some bushes between the chicken coop and the barn, squirmed out, changed directions and ran into the cornfield. Shadow was left in his wake, sniffing in circles among the bushes around the barn. Of course, our great guard dog didn’t catch on that the fox was long gone.
Meanwhile, Michael rushed over to the traumatized chicken. That chicken had not moved one feather since Red had dropped her, nor had she uttered a sound!
Chickens always cluck, especially when something startles them. The clucking then rises in pitch and speed and transforms into nerve rattling squawking.
Not this stunned bird. Michael noticed there wasn’t a scratch on her because the fox only bit down with his soft mouth. His teeth did not pierce the chicken’s skin at all, not one drop of blood. Michael gently placed the chicken back into the outdoor run and still she sat, silently like a statue!
We all marveled at the fox’s audacity because this episode occurred in broad daylight. Red did not even wait for the cover of darkness, nor did he care his enemy, our ‘guard dog’ was around. What he had done during daylight hours, for almost two weeks was sneak through the long grass just beyond the chicken wire fence then slip right into the chicken run and snatch birds.
The whole process had been a silent one. It seems the chickens were as shocked as we were and none of the birds raised the chicken alarm. We were oblivious to the fox’s tricks till the day when Red became a little too bold.
We quickly fixed the fence, thereby cutting off his easy pickings.
Do not feel sorry for the sly fox. He had a supply of ten chickens to last him a long time.