Friday, December 26, 2008
The Imperfect Promises of People
~The night of the ' Big Storm That Wasn't', I went to bed so very thankful and happy for the very nice snow fall that was unaccompanied by the fearful and ferocious winds the forecasters assured us were coming. I slept peacefully only to be awakened by the sound of coyote songs and yips coming from right under our bedroom window. I woke Hubby up , just to listen. I assured him he did not need to go outside and check up on things because all our animals were safely penned up. I heard no sounds of distress coming from any of our animals, and believe me, we can hear all our animals from our bedroom.
Look at my lovely ducks in the picture below. I had 12 ducks. I now have 2 ducks, and I am very upset with myself. I made a promise to my ducks to keep them safe. We made a pen for them we thought would do the trick. All I had to do was pen them up every night...and as I was feeding them I assured them they HAD to stay in the pen for their own good. The day after the storm we noticed something did not look right at the duck pen, but the snow made it hard for us to see the reason~Look at these tracks in the snow. They are coyote tracks. The coyotes had jumped on top of the netting covering the duck pen and collapsed it, and then must have set about to capture and devour EVERY duck. The little duck footprints were everywhere, under our window, up our road, ON the ice, at our back gate....the poor little ducks had run for their lives, ducks don't fly in the dark, especially domestic ducks. Can you see the blood spot above? It has been a long time since I was so upset about the death of my ducks, I have grown a little hard and calloused about duck death since we lose so many every year...I can't be crying over them , but there is something so very , very sad about seeing the frantic waddling footprints and then a splash of red on the snow and no more footprints...and to see this drama several times over written in the snow ALL around our home, up our driveway and our private road.
~Look at the coyote footprints."The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse, how he shall take his prey." William Blake
~This blood spot is where a duck was taken as he fled to the pond for safety, but alas, our pond is solid ice and the coyotes picked the ducks off with ease. "Even a wolf will not stay where sounds no bleat to offer hope of prey." Greek Proverb~What I do not understand is why the ducks did not quack, or make a lot of noise. Usually the quacking of the ducks wakes us, in the past their quacking has alerted us to raccoons and coyotes, and dogs after them....and we have been able to save the ducks. But I was awake and heard only coyotes. The coyotes had chased the ducks right up against the house. They were so bold as to leave their scat everywhere, our driveway, our road, our yard! Our dogs did not make a peep, even our outside dogs who HAD to know what was going on. The Mama dog Sienna was with her pups in their snug shed with a heat lamp ( enclosed in a livestock panel fence) and had to have also heard the ducks we eventually found huddled right up against the shed. All around the ducks were coyote footprints, which means the coyotes could also have picked off a litter of puppies if Mama was not there. But why didn't Sienna bark ? Why didn't the big black dog on the back porch bark ? We are a bit concerned around here.The coyotes are TOO bold. My grandchildren saw them on our pond and our road just the other day, in full view. The coyotes had come back again after their big kill. Our friends, Lanny and Dirt have had some big losses too, and I will let Lanny tell their tale, and hopefully a success story in a little coyote control.But Dirt and Lanny's loss has us concerned about lambing time , and coyote watch will more diligent this year . ~The two surviving ducks are safe in a shed with some chickens. The flying duck (above ) is one of my 2 survivors. We have plans to raise another flock of ducks, and plans for a new and improved duck house, but I am still sad, and very mad at myself. I made a promise I found I could not keep. But that is the way of man,or woman, isn't it ? I am thankful there is ONE who can and does keep promises. I am sorry ducks.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering , for He who promised is faithful;" Hebrews 10:28
NOTE: The coyotes are hunting in packs around here. We could tell there had been at least 4 coyotes here that night, and Dirt and Lanny had a yearling ram lamb ( and their Suffolk ram lambs are bigger than my full grown Jacobs)taken down and killed by a pack of coyotes.