Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fox News 2. Lizzie Strikes Back!

On Monday (28th) morning we posted the following 2 passages on Facebook. I think, as a story, it speaks for itself. There are no pics for obvious reasons (if we'd have had time to take pics.....) so I have slotted in a few recent. random shots. Have fun. (Apologies for the fruity language - we were a bit 'wired')

Danielle's lovely "grave stone" for our fallen
Liz: Bastard fox came back for seconds. Luckily I was here to frustrate his knavery.

Matt: So proud of my wife just now! She is being very modest here. She had the bastard BY THE TAIL for a few minutes and also got a good solid kick into his ribs. She'd heard the commotion in the yard and raced out to see him trying to grab a Buff. That was the chase and the kick. He ran into a shed and tried to lose himself into a dark corner but Liz knew that her favourite chook was hiding in that same corner. RaAAAARRRRRR!

We look after our guests!
She lunges in and grabs a hand full of tail, hauls him up at arms length and then starts looking for water to drown him in or some other method of despatch. Runs round the front, still holding fox and releases dogs who all clamour round but not too sure what is needed. She runs down the drive to the road and starts swinging fox round like a hammer-thrower and then fecked him at the hedge. A bit disorientated. he staggers to his feet and runs off with all three dogs snapping at his heels for 3 fields.

Chicken Tagine
Meanwhile Liz texts me, so I race home. She goes back round to check birds (all OK) while I hike across fields, attracted by distant barking of 3 westies. Unfortunately they all milling round a field-corner and have unfortunately lost the fox. All very happy and excited though, so lots of praise and treats and 'Good dogs!'

Teaching Danielle foot trimming. Snick snack.
Of course with hindsight we both have a million other things we should have done (slammed fox against wall, dropped him in crate, decapitated him with axe etc) but fair play. He is undoubtedly a bit hurt and scared and may think twice about coming back.

I may have the only 'farmer's wife' in the county who has swung a fox round by the tail. Beaming with pride. Go Elizabeth! Bet Danielle wishes she was still here!

Danielle has fallen in love with Towser, one
our "fox hounds". 
You may have to read the preceding post to know the full story but suffice to say we are under attack and still recovering from Wednesday's raid. We were hoping that the fox(es) had taken so many birds that they had a full 'larder' and would not need to return for a while but we are trying to arrange that one of us is always here in case. On Monday it was Liz in the driving seat. I'd gone down to a neighbour's place to muck out a bullock-barn and was just back indoors drinking his tea when the text went off. Naturally I was off back up the lane like hot snot, but it was all over bar rounding up the dogs.

Liz knitted this 'archery target' hat for the
club's baby, Feliz. 
Naturally we are all a bit 'wired' at this stage, jumping at the slightest chicken-noise and racing round to check. The dogs are so excited that they set off barking at the smallest excuse and the Guinea Fowl are worse - firing off their cacophony of clatter at the least offensive of changes or of 'new things'. The poor chickens are mostly recovered by now but both the injured roosters died a few days after the attack, from their wounds or just shock. There are a couple more still sulking in the Tígín (sadly that includes our old favourite Cuckoo Marans, the elderly 'Squawk' (9)) unwilling to walk about. Some hobble as if they may have received leg-injuries which are invisible under the feathers. Liz has been taking food treats in to these 'hospitalised' wounded.

Billie-No-Mates. We inherit this (originally Suzy's) bird from
a friend down the road who has also suffered 2 fox strikes and
was left with this lonely youngster. They decided to bring her
here for company while they decide whether to re-stock.
The story of Liz's heroics is, of course, doing the rounds. I enjoyed telling it in the local Post Office and I can imagine it will be passed on from there. All our Facebook friends are delighted and have come back with comments like "Don't mess with our Elizabeth... She is NAILS!" and even an ode. BUT, we are not all about foxes here. Between the two fox-events we found time to entertain our very good friends Dan and Dan(ielle). This couple have been before and we sometimes refer to them as the 'Children' because Danielle is daughter to Liz's closest cousin from her childhood, Cathy. Dan and Dan love to come here and relax, get very well fed and, in Danielle's case, get involved in the livestock. Dan is on hand to take a gazillion pics for FB.

View from new kitchen roof.
Regular readers may know that we have channelled Dan(ielle)'s hunger for knowledge into a jokey training course in which she has to complete tasks to move on to the next level of skill. This weekend, this was to be Level 6 and the task was to gather and pen the sheep, inject 2 for clostridium (Rosie and Silas), foot-trim anyone who needed it and dag any ewes whose 'lady-gardens' might be blocked enough with poo-ey wool 'klingons' to deter Silas (the ram) from doing his thing. I trust you to need no more explanation of that last bit. As ever, Dan was a star. She happily got into the overalls and wellies and got stuck in oblivious of the rain-wet and lanolin-soaked wool and the shitty 'dags' and rather muddy feet. She was man-handing the ram and ewes about so that we could get to the work-areas on each one, watching carefully as I showed her the foot trimming and then doing some feet solo despite her anxiety that she might cut too deep, nick the 'quick' and draw blood. After than, she found the dagging a breeze. Go Danielle. Level 6 (with Distinction) well earned.

Jet washing the now exposed and pointed
Amusingly, Dan and Dan were so keen on our stock that they were as horrified as us at the scene of carnage and strewn feathers which were still all over the frosty ground when they arrived Friday, 2 days after the Wednesday strike. Danielle was feeling very murderous  and hoping the fox might come back while they were here, so was desperate when he came back the day after they had flown home and she missed all the 'fun'.

Looking down on K-Dub's van
Meanwhile we have progressed on the kitchen extension work. Today we needed to be less vigilant re our foxy chum - with K-Dub and I clomping about over the roof, bantering with each other, commenting on the antics of the poultry below and making all manner of 'odd' noises (pressure washer, cement stirring paddle, hammering, clambering up and down ladders), we were sure the lad would know we were about. Even so I came flying down for a check at one stage when the Guineas kicked off, but they just seemed to have suddenly noticed there were MEN ON THE ROOF! (Shock! Drama!). False alarm. Ah well. That's enough for this post. More on Mr Fox when/if we put an end to his "knavery".

Newest neighbour. This baby is only days
 old born to next door's suckler herd.
I need this game to end soon. It is ruining my life.

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