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The Fox and Turkens

Before we get to the story of Monner and the Fox, I want to share a Monnerism with you. I feel that western movie writers are some of the most inciteful people that have ever lived. Many of the beliefs that govern my life came right out of western movies.

Quotes from Kurt Russell’s Tombstone provided me with a plethora of thoughts of loyalty, friendship, and family. But that is not what we are talking about today. Today we are talking about John Wayne’s Big Jake.

In the movie, John Wayne (Big Jake) is involved in a semi-angry conversation with his son (Michael) regarding the taking of an animal's life.

Michael: Father, I don’t kill for sport. Jake: Michael, there are only two reasons to kill, survival and meat. We need meat.

There is a strong possibility you have determined Monner has lost whatever mental capacity he had and you stopped reading. I hope you haven’t given up and let me explain how this relates to Monner and the fox.

The story begins a couple of years ago. Our family decided it might be fun and profitable to raise poultry and sell eggs. Along with chickens, we purchased a flock of domestic ducks. Every day the ducks would waddle the one hundred yards from the coop to a creek that runs through our property. One night the ducks didn’t return. A predator had drawn first blood. It wasn’t long and we started losing chickens and guineas. And then, the killing stopped. We assumed the predator had moved on.

Last spring, Ivy and I started over with new chicks, ducklings, and turkeys. After a few months, the predator returned. One turkey was killed, and several guineas and chickens were killed.

This time a neighbor informed us he saw a fox near our coop and shot it as it left our property. I can’t be sure he killed the fox because a few days later, Ivy and I noticed a fox near our coop. I had the opportunity to take a shot at it as it ran away. I thought I had either hit it or scared it away because it didn’t come back for quite a while.

As luck would have it, THE fox, or at least a fox came back to attack. This fox obviously didn’t understand or hadn’t heard Big Jake’s lesson. This fox was killing birds for entertainment before Ivy found him in the coop. This fox might have been looking for meat but it had already killed more than it could use.

Ivy’s presence in the coop got the fox to stop the killing. Now the fox was looking for an escape route. This is where it gets weird. The fox cornered itself in a corner of the coop. As I entered the coop every remaining live bird decided it was time to make a break for it. As I was going in, the birds were going out. I might mention that I am wearing only black socks and black boxer briefs. That might be too much information, but I thought you might need a visual.

Running from the house to the coop I was thinking, the fox is going to escape before I can get out there. I was amazed to find the fox still there. It was like it was waiting for me. I sent Ivy for a firearm. The fox and I patiently waited for Ivy to return. It seemed like days before Ivy came back. The fox and I were locked in a stare-down like a couple of boxers at the pre-fight news conference. I was dressed for it.

The staring didn’t stop. The fox was daring me. My emotions were out of control. What I was going to do was not for meat. It really wasn’t for survival, not mine at least. What was about to happen was about the survival of the birds. The birds had no chance of survival if I didn’t act. This one was for the birds (and possibly Elaine).

Besides the birds, Elaine might have been the big winner. Elaine is the recipient of the fox hide. Losers, besides the fox, there is a store in Saratoga, Wyoming that will not be selling Elaine a fox pelt this spring.

The fox is destined to become part of one of Elaine’s garments, but you know this one might just be mine.

The adventure didn’t stop there for Ivy and I. There was a sickening feeling in our stomachs as Ivy disposed of the dead birds. Where was I? Hey, I was getting dressed, it wasn’t exactly warm in the coop. Now that I think about it, maybe Ivy was sick because I wasn’t dressed.

Contrary to what you might think, I am not one that enjoys skinning animals. But I know who does! I made a phone call.

Me: Hey man, will you skin a fox for me? Young man: Sure, bring it over. Me: Where do I take it? Man: I’m getting a hair perm, just drive over and throw it in the back of my truck

Ok, I am not taking this story down the rabbit hole of men’s perms, but I was surprised by that comment and reserve the right to discuss it at a later date.

It wasn’t long and Ivy and I realized we had just lost about half of our birds. We swooped into action. I called a store where I had bought guineas before and ordered six. Ivy called another store and found they would be getting “new” ducks and turkeys at the end of the month. Time to start over.

I was told the guineas would arrive on the 28th. The very next day the store called to tell me the guineas were here and I had three days to pick them up. That was a little inconvenient but not the end of the world. I was able to negotiate to be able to pick them up over the weekend.

Ivy and I decided to make a day of picking up the guineas. Breakfast (which incidentally was horrible), shopping for new feeders and poultry waterers, and picking up the guineas.

We might have gone a little crazy shopping. We went to a couple of stores looking for feeders. DO you know what one of the stores had? Birds!

Ivy and I came home with six guineas, four ducks, two chickens, and two turkeys, plus ordered two geese (which we have never had before). Geese are territorial and will defend their territory against a predator like a fox.

Geese won’t skin foxes, but they will fight.

We have fourteen baby birds in our basement sitting under heat lamps. As they get feathers (will take them outside. We really didn’t need all those birds, especially the chickens. At the store, they were selling a breed of chicken (Turken) that I had never seen before.

Turkens are completely featherless on their necks, making them extremely ugly and creepy (Don’t tell them). I had to have them.

OK, as you can tell I’m feeling great and looking forward to summer’s adventures. We at Your Daily Fiber are looking forward to sending you multiple skeins of yarn (and stuff).

I will keep storytelling as some of you have asked. (I know, sometimes I can’t believe it either.) God Bless and keep Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers. Love ya!

Our crazy lives!



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