Jack wrote this in March, 2006:
El Palenque doesn’t think;
Knows and loves
His only job
And does it;
Perfection without compromise.
Where owls, hawks
And sly coyotes salivate
To lowest common denominator
When the cackling hen
Rises from a fresh-laid egg.
From Poems of the New Old West
Copyright 2002 Jack Purcell
I opened the front door just now and two cats rushed inside looking over their shoulders.
I rushed out onto the porch in time to see old brother coyote slithering through the fence and out through the field to the east. I suppose things are tough out there in the wild and they’re coming in looking for house pets in yards. It’s been a dry winter and the rodent population must be just about winnowed down to nothing.
He was looking fairly scroungy and thin. Last year more pups reached maturity than should have, a lot more than normally would have. We had a late snowfall and a plethora of rabbits as a result of that brief spell of moisture. Now there’s nothing much for old brother coyote to eat.
Every night I hear them out on the mesas, but for the past several months they haven’t been making nuisances of themselves coming in killing pets. I fear it’s beginning again. Neighbors lost several cats last year to owls and a particular coyote that had to be delt with harshly.
But I’ve been figuring on getting a few chicks this spring, have them laying by mid-summer. That’s something I’ve missed a lot the last several years, having a flock of chickens around to amuse me. Gonna be a battle though, I’m thinking, between the coyotes and the neighborhood dogs running loose.
I’m partial to having the birds ranging free catching grasshoppers and eating weed seeds all summer, only going into protection at night. Plenty of room back in the orchard and the chickens would help keep down the weeds while providing eggs in abundance. Just a matter of giving them a fair shot at surviving.
Guess we’ll see about a lot of things this spring.