CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK!!!
More than one time I have been outside and walked past this fence row and have spotted a hawk perched upon the post. Fully knowing that hawks are known predators to chickens, my first thought is, 'Oh cool! A hawk!'. (How traitorous am I?) My second thought is replaying all the gory details of the disemboweled chickens found on my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's property from their dealings with hawks. Maybe I really should be concerned....
Well, I was finally able to have a little chat with the hawk that comes and rests his wings on our fence post. Since it was such a warm, Spring-teasing type of day, Dan, Carl and I ventured outside after church and lunch. It was one of those days where you got a lot of stuff done, like cleaning out the chicken coop, washing the cars and cutting the bottoms off of barn doors...the types of things you do on Spring-teasing types of days.
As Dan sawed and Carl played with rocks and puddles, I suddenly remembered I had to put a roast in the crock pot for dinner. Jogging up the driveway, I looked over and saw a serious looking bird -in what was that? a top hat?? - perched on the fence post, starring out in the direction of the horse pasture. I stopped and blinked, thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me, but no - that was definitely a top hat! Knowing this was more important than dinner, I changed my course of direction and walked across the yard, the wind whipping my hair into my face.
"Hello?" I called. "Can I help you?"
"Oh! Yes, yes, hullo!" He responded in another shocker - a British accent!
"Hi." I said, dumbfounded.
"Beautiful day isn't it? I just love this kind of weather."
"Me too. Er, who are you?" I asked, taking in his suit vest, tiny bow-tie and rimless glasses.
"Oh, my, where are my manners?" He cleared his throat, removed his top hat and gave what I'm assuming was a bow...not much room to work with when you are that small. "My name is Talon Hawkins, how do you do?"
"Um...I'm good. My name is Rebecca." I said, feeling really stupid. Was I really speaking to a bird?? AND having trouble finding something to say? I had successfully crossed the line from weird and had gone into Looser-Ville.
Shaking my head, I had to ask. "Are you hear to eat my chickens?"
Talon Hawkins took a couple of jumps backwards sputtering.
A wave of guilt washed over me. "I'm sorry!" I was quick to say. "It's just, I've seen you here before and I know for a fact that hawks love chicken."
Seeming to recover his decorum, Mr. Hawkins put a wing over his chest and cleared his throat. "I accept your apology. As a responsible chicken owner, you have every right to have the best interest in mind for your birds. I cannot lie to a lady! I was indeed debating on picking off one of your fowl for a Sunday snack."
I gasped in terror thinking of Macho, a little bantam rooster belonging to the in-laws who met a gruesome and violent death by the talons of a hawk. Is this what happened to my beloved Fumm? As far as I know, (knock on wood) none of our chickens have been attacked by a hawk. That is why Mr. Hawkins' presence has never really bothered me before.
"Have you snacked on chickens in this area before?" I asked, wanting some kind of justice for little Macho.
"No, I swear it. I am just passing through on my way to Indiana to visit relations. I heard the squawking of your birds and my tummy growled. I am so hungry and I have traveled so far." The sun reflected off his spectacles as he looked at me.
"Well, it's not very nice to eat other people's chickens." I told him, much like I would scold my own child.
He put his head down. "I know. I am terribly sorry. I just can't help but love the taste of chicken, however. I am most fond of the tender dark meat, as it melts in your mouth with that succulent flavor..."
As Mr. Hawkins continued to describe the flavor of chicken in minute detail, my own stomach began to growl. I thought of the frozen chicken legs in the freezer destined to be fried in my skillet one of these days. I thought about the Combo #1 from Chick-fil-A yesterday, and how good that chicken sandwich is with a Cherry Coke. Then there was the Burger King chicken sandwich I had for lunch, and goodness, I've had too much fast food this weekend!
Food! My roast! If I didn't get that thing in the crock pot so it could cook for several hours, we were going to be eating fast food again tonight!
"Look, I really need to be going." I said, cutting into his descriptions. "Can I get you some bread or anything? Anything besides my chickens?"
"No, no, thank you anyway. I have a gluten allergy. I need to be off myself. I need to try and make headway while the weather is so nice. Sorry to have given you a scare. I'll leave your chickens alone. Good day! Good day!"
And with that, Talon Hawkins took flight and flew away.
I scratched my head on the way back to the house, asking myself if I really did just have a conversation with a hawk? And if so, was that well-spoken old chap really a brute and viscous killer of chickens?
Going inside and to my roast, I really hoped he wasn't and wished him a safe journey to his Indiana destination.