Sunday, March 04, 2007

Farm Report 02/04/07

CSI: Robin's Wood
The case of the missing golden chicken

One morning about two weeks ago, Henny-Penny Buffrock went out into the yard with the rest of the chickens to scratch and forage. There was nothing unusual about this.

But that evening, Henny-Penny failed to return at sunset. She didn't even phone or leave a message. This was highly unusual behavior, as all who knew her would verify.

At first it was thought that perhaps she had created a nest in the brush, and was camping out overnight. Many of the hens had started to become broody, and a few had started laying eggs in the wood, but they had always come home at night.

The next day, when the hens were all out in the yard again, Henny-Penny failed to show up for breakfast or lunch, which she would have done even if she had a hidden nest. Could it be possible that she herself became a target for a meal?

Several days later, the unthinkable was verified. At the edge of the yard, deep in some brush under a small fir tree, a grisly discovery was made.

This was all that was left of poor Henny-Penny:

Who could have done such a thing? I began to examine the suspects.

The body was initially discovered by Saffron, an old spinster Shepperd dog.

She had been very interested in the area around the small fir tree, and when she went down into the brush below it, I walked over to see what she was up to.

When I got there, I heard slurping noises coming from the bushes. I was sure she was licking something icky, so I called her out, and then pushed through the brush to see what it was. Fortunately, she didn't roll in it.

Could she have committed the crime? No. At her age I'm not even sure she could, but more importantly she and all the other dogs had airtight alibis as to their whereabouts at the time of the disappearance.

A fox had been seen the vicinity several weeks earlier, but there was no verification that he had been around recently.

Hawks in the area were known to sometimes attack, but where were the resulting fuss and feathers that would normally accompany such an attack? No one heard anything, and there was no feathery mess blowing around the yard.

There were two local characters that were regarded suspiciously by the fowl community:

Swanky "Fats" Trailertrash, and his notorious Siamese wife, Smudgie "Pussy Galore" Trailertrash, were often regarded with suspicion at Robin's Wood ever since they moved here from a local trailer park in town.

"Pussy" in particular, was a known menace to the smaller Bantam hens, often lurking about the coop near sunset, stalking and harassing them on their way inside for the night. But would she, COULD she, take out one of the larger hens like Henny-Penny?

Be sure and see next Sunday's installment of the Farm Report, where the PRIME SUSPECT will be exposed.

UPDATE: You can see the conclusion to this mystery here:

PRIME SUSPECT: Who Killed Henny-Penny?