Good Fences

Houdini © Jim Korpi

It was a fellow New Englander Robert Frost who once talked of the importance of good fences.
“Good fences make good neighbors.”
Now I understand.
My neighbor’s dog escapes the fenced in area alloted him in their backyard. Our chickens have been known to stray from our yard as well. But the two have cohabited the adjacent plots for two years now. That was until a few days ago.
I came home to find one of our chickens in our front yard. She never wanders far from the two others, but they weren’t to be seen. They were all supposed to be locked up in the “chicken tractor” in the backyard. So I carried the one, Burr, to the back and noticed a trail of feathers leading to their home. Then I noticed the cage had been torn apart by something of good size and strength. This wasn’t a sneak attack but an all out brutal assault. Evidence was in the claw marks on the ripped apart roof, a hole torn from the roof’s wooden structure and a giant disassebly of the chicken wire covering the side of the cage. This all happened in the hour it took Annah and I to go get a lunchtime coffee at a local cafe.
Chickens often meet their maker in the wee-hours of night when critters come-a-crawlin’, so it didn’t cross my mind that a raccoon or coyote had done the deed. I had assumed a local dog had strayed from its property.
Then I saw my neighbor’s dog sniffing the sidewalk out front. I knocked on their door and explained the crime scene in my backyard and that I couldn’t help but see some sort of relationship between that and their roaming dog. She explained that her dog wouldn’t do something like that but said that she would keep an eye open for my chickens. Five minutes later she was knocking at my door.
“I found her,” she said. “I found the red one. My dog was bringin’ her in her penned in area. I’m really sorry. I feel really bad. Can I replace them?”
She carried my battered chicken to my backyard and set it there amongst the fallen leaves for me to see. She said she never found our black-feathered chicken, Abe.

Posted October 31st, 2009 in Uncategorized.


  1. peter hoffman:

    Good lord Jim I want a print of this.

  2. Geoff Hansen:

    Forget the viagra — get yourself an electric fence. Our dogs are now afraid of the chickens, even when they're out in the yard.

  3. Pops:

    Jim sorry about the chicken..
    One thing it sure made a great photo.

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