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The Chicken Farmer

It's a good thing I dont sleep in the nude

By Jack NanuqPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
The Chicken Farmer
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

THE CHICKEN FARMER

The moon was full, the month was February, and the air frigid. The farmer was awakened by poultry distress cries and cackles. He knew instantly a fox or coyote was in the hen house. Snow and ice had blocked the door open, and he hadn’t had time to get it fixed. An unspoken voice screamed in his brain that he had to protect his birds from this demon.

He jumped out of bed, gave the dog a kick, grabbed his shotgun and raced for the backyard. The dog followed him outside. Everything was covered in snow and ice. The white landscape reflected the moonlit sky; not bright enough to see colors or details but enough to illuminate landmarks. The man scanned the yard for the predator. A dozen or so chickens ran across the yard, and a few were floundering in snowdrifts.

The dog keyed into something at the end of his driveway. A small creek flowed under the driveway just before it reached the road. The farmer focused his attention on that intersection. Tall snowbanks lined the driveway, like levies. A prized rooster lay between the banks. The fox jumped for the bird. Just as the farmer saw this the dog gave chase. Instinctively the gun flew to his shoulder. As he took aim at the varmint the dog ran in front of the gun. The farmer’s anger was at a boiling point and briefly thought about shooting the dog. This thought evaporated.

His only chance, remote as it might be, was to outrun the dog and to find the fox, at the creek. The man took off in a sprint, passing both the dog and the rooster. Movement caught his eye as the predator took refuge in a small stand of willows. The gun flew to his shoulder, once again. The menace was out of view. The farmer was sure he was long gone but wasn’t taking any chances.

BOOM, the shotgun bellowed, sending lead screaming into the brush. Snow, ice, mud and twigs exploded; like a mortar shell had just landed there. Four more shots followed in rapid succession; the brush and bank being shredded by buckshot. The click of the firing pin falling on an empty cylinder signaled him to stop shooting. The fox escaped unharmed.

The farmer took in his surroundings. The idiot dog cowered at his feet. The rooster lay dead in the driveway. Chickens were in distress everywhere and he had a 100-yard walk back to the house. The gravel driveway was lined with chunks of ice and frozen rock. It was then he realized he had left the house without shoes. As a matter of fact, his boxer shorts were all he was wearing at the time.

He took stock of his situation, picked up his rooster and then hot-footed it down the driveway. Unknown to him his wife had awakened with the 2nd or 3rd shot. She had rolled over to find his side of the bed empty and the shooting scared her. She called to him in vain and then timidly took a look outside.

She saw a half-naked man, carrying a chicken in a one hand, a gun in the other and dancing some type of demonic jig toward the house. It was then and only then that she realized this crazed individual was her husband. She panicked as she immediately assumed he had lost his mind.

She raced to the door and began shouting at him. He quickly understood that she feared for his mental health and was now camouflaging her fear with anger and hysteria. Questions were fired at him rapidly. If his aim was as good as hers that fox would be dead. He vaguely heard things like “Have you lost your frigging mind, its 8 below, what are you doing?...Get in here right now and tell me what’s going on….What the hell is going on?”

He threw the rooster into a garbage can and walked into the house. As he crossed the threshold one question was repeated over and over. “What are you doing out there?" The questions raced around inside his brain, but answers eluded him. What was he to say?

“You’re gonna catch a cold, what do you have to say for yourself, what do you have to say for yourself?” He scanned his frost burned body and knew she was right to be concerned; maybe he had lost his mind. He also knew she was so wound up it would take ½ dozen cigarettes and as many cups of coffee for her to calm down enough that she could go back to bed. He could try and tell what had happened, but the details escaped him right now. Maybe things would be clearer in the morning?

He said the only thing that would come to mind. “I guess it a good thing I don’t sleep in the nude”. He then went back to bed.

short story

About the Creator

Jack Nanuq

Mr. Nanuq makes his living as a Private Investigator, hence the avatar and pen name.

Author of “Parabellum; When you Live in Peace, prepare for War”

JackNanuq.com

Writes, just for the hell of it.

Enjoys walks in the woods, with a chainsaw

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    Jack NanuqWritten by Jack Nanuq

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