Not more than an hour after I arrived home from a lovely weekend in Edinburgh...my hubby shot up from working on the laptop shouting 'FOX' whilst dashing for the door in record time, kicking off his flip-flops (thongs) to maximise his speed.
His cries were ear piercing and certainly frightened me!
I had no idea that he could either move that fast or get such volume and pitch to his voice!
Thankfully, the fox was terrified too, as the wailing banshee advanced.
Annie, who was joining in with her own squawks as she was dropped from the jaws of the fox, made off to hide in the corner of the patio...then more squawks came from the top end of the garden.
More feathers flew and my hubby cries changed to rather colourful language (maybe he thought he was near enough away from me...or the circumstances certainly called for it)
Chickens were flapping and squawking all over the garden... it seems that we had far more than just four chooks. With the fox's escape under the conifer bushes and over the wall, we began to carry out a roll call.
Annie...yes, but traumatised and injured.
Bertha...present... (maybe too heavy for the fox to carry?)
Winnie...present (although hiding behind the rose bushes)
Flo? Flo? FLO?
Oh no...Flo was nowhere to be seen.
Only a mass of feathers were floating all around the garden and so with heavy hearts and sickly stomachs, we assumed that Flo had been taken.
I was so mad because I'd been telling hubby that he was being too blasé about them being free to roam, especially when he wasn't in the garden with them...but I had to back off because I knew he was so upset and guilty.
We scooped up Annie and checked her over...four puncture holes either side of her spine seemed to be the extent of her injuries. We've later found out that her leg is injured, as she now has a limp.
She's full of character and we're hoping that she has a lot of fighting spirit in her too.
She's recovering each day so we're hopeful she'll be fine.
Meanwhile the others were put in lock down!
Later as I was trying to calm my stomach with deep breaths, washing down the patio
(no blood... just feathers, bird seed and of course poop due to the fright).
A few minutes later my hubby called me to come and look.
I knew I couldn't take any more carnage, so declined, but he was insistent.
As I walked towards his voice and along the path...there he was holding Flo!
His favourite and with a huge grin to prove it.
She'd ran and just missed being grabbed by the fox (her lack of tail feathers are a new testament to her near miss and will be this seasons attire...basically minimal).
Phew... so now they're all together rallying around Annie and safe within the 'folly' walls.
They'll get a taste of free ranging (of sorts) by being in their movable run and we'll reposition it every day...but at least we know that they'll be safe and that's the main thing.