We keep chickens and I specially sourced a coup for them that had a small outside enclosure, so we can leave them locked in when we are away for a long weekend. This means the girls being a bit cramped for a few days, but still getting to enjoy the sun, fresh air and a tiny bit of exercise.
Dadonthebrink didn’t think this was enough for them though when he left to join us on our fun weekend (…more on that later). He left their coup door open and let them have their whole run. Unfortunately one of the gals had got into the habit of flying out (we had chopped her wing feathers, but apparently not enough) and Dadonthebrink forgot to factor this in when choosing to give them freedom.
So we arrived home to one hen missing. Her remains, a pile of feathers strewn all over the lawn.
Next morning when we told the littlins the sad news, Hugo didn’t believe me and went out to count them.
He came in with a sad face:
” You are right Mummy! It must’ve been the clever one, because she was the one who could fly out.”
We got into a discussion on how clever she actually was; an interesting discussion, allowing some insight into a 4 year old’s logic.
After breakfast the Littlins headed upstairs to their room to play. They emerged a little while later with Angelina being dressed as a chicken and Hugo wearing a lion mask. They had that cheeky smile, that is indicative of them being upto no good at all! They proceeded to tell me about their plot:
“Mummy we are going to sleep outside- me, Hugo and Daddy”
” Yes and we are going to catch that fox! BAM!” He said animatedly, ” and show him!”
So they were going to lure the fox to the chicken aka Angelina and catch him and tell him he cannot take any more of our chickens. (I love the fact that this plot didn’t immediately involve killing the fox- this appeals to my liberal side and philosophy of “live and let live”).
When I told Dadonthebrink of the plan and that he is sleeping outside he was not happy. However I suggested he leave it with me… I had my own plot to give them perspective.
In the afternoon we watched a feature length cartoon, an old favourite of mine, Vuk, the little fox. (They’d seen it a few years back, but found it too scary so we haven’t watched it since).
The film tells the story of a little fox kit, Vic (Vuk in the Hungarian version), who ventures away from his family’s den and, upon his return, learns from his uncle Karak that his entire family has been killed by humans. Karak then offers for Vic to stay with him, and Karak continues to raise him.
As Vic grows older, he develops much cunning and wit. Now a young adult fox, he finds a vixen, named Foxy, held captive in a cage on a human farm. He tricks the guard dogs and other animals, as well as the hunter himself, and eventually helps the vixen escape.
She joins Vic and Karak in the woods, but Vic’s uncle is shot by humans during a hunt. Vic swears revenge on the hunter and finally accomplishes it, playing many jokes on the hunter’s stupid dogs, killing and devouring the man’s livestock and eventually playing tricks on the man himself. At the end of the film, Vic and his wife have cubs of their own. ( from Wikipedia)
After watching the film and talking a little about how sweet the fox was, I think they got the point that there are two sides to each story. They at least no longer wanted to sleep in the garden in their fancy dress.