Saturday, October 08, 2005
Monsieur decided the fate of three chickens. Since he keeps chickens, this will involve a bit of violence. I will never get used to it, I don’t think. I was raised on a farm and I know all about where meat comes from and what happens to animals and all, but still… I can’t quite get used to the fact that it’s gotta happen so often.
Three chickens hadn’t been making their numbers in the egg quota, so they started getting some additional shelled corn and fewer soybeans in the feed for the past month. They didn’t seem to know what was up; they just started putting on the pounds. Monsieur usually does the chicken feeding and egg gathering, but once in a while I do it. In case you were wondering, chickens stink.
One chicken was already dispatched earlier this week, and cooked in a pinapple and honey glaze. The next one will go for tomorrow’s dinner. #3’s execution date has not been set.
For every chicken we off, we usually purchase five new chicks from the chick hatchery. They’re adorable, but I can’t get too attached. We set them up in a little warm box heated by a 25-watt light bulb and filled with sawdust and dried leaves. Chicks need to be fed five times a day or more. One or two usually will die from natural causes and another will get offed by a feral dog or a coyote.
Monsieur treats coyotes with the same respect that he treats all thieves: none at all. I discovered this recently one night when he heard a suspicious noise in the back yard; he snatched a saber down from the wall and ran outside, his footsteps silent. He came back in and replaced the sword and I gave him a questioning look. “Damned coyotes,” he said.
“Why don’t you have a gun?” I asked.
“I hate guns,” he replied. “They are without honor; they require less skill and I would have to lock them away from the children. By the time I could get a rifle unlocked, have it loaded and run outside, the coyote would have had dinner and then would be carrying away his breakfast. Besides,” he added, “an intruder can use a gun against you.”
“He could use a sword against you just as easily,” I argued.
He chuckled. “Unlikely,” he said. “He would have to be well-versed in swordplay. I know of few 21st-century house burglars with such esoteric knowledge.”