Houdi and Spot with their morning greens


Rooster, unable to reach the rabbits’ morning greens


Things seemed to have calmed down
in the barn.
The chicken population
has dwindled,
but we think we’ve trapped
the culprits.
We now set a trap every night,
just to be sure,
and were surprised
one morning this week
to find we trapped
a large skunk.
Our preventive measure worked:
we caught a predator
before there was evidence
of predation.
The chicken fort
inside the barn
is a safe night-time retreat.
Last night,
a guinea fowl came down
from the barn rafters
and joined the chickens
on their roost inside the fort.

Morning and evening
we bring fresh greens
from the high tunnel
to feed the guineas, chickens and rabbits.
Because rabbits, chickens and guineas
can intermingle
in the two-room rabbit village,
the fowl finish their greens
and then steal greens
right out of the mouths
of rabbits as they nibble.
So now, while the chickens and guineas
are still focused on eating the greens
we give them,
we dash to the rabbit village
and shut the door
to the room where the rabbits
spend most of their time.
The rabbits can eat their greens
in peace.
Rooster has found us out.
This morning he appeared
in the window
that overlooks the rabbits,
safely nibbling their morning treats.
Rooster raised his head
and crowed loudly,
seemingly in protest.
I laughed out loud.
I wonder if he’ll try to beat us
to the rabbit room
next time.
Already, he’s chased Ann and me
a couple of times.
Life with animals
doesn’t stay calm
for long.