- “SQUAWK! SQAWK!” One afternoon last week, Poelleke, an Ameraucana hen who faithfully lays an egg a day, suddenly sounded the alarm by raising a ruckus. Her humans came running out of their house to see a bobcat that had climbed inside their six-foot wire fence, stalking Poelleke and the nine younger hens.
Before the bobcat started to spring, Poelleke launched herself at him, squawking furiously, flapping her wings, and scratching with her claws. The bobcat backed up long enough for the humans to come shouting to the rescue.
As the bobcat scrambled over the fence and took off for the hills, Poelleke then rounded up the younger hens and brought them up onto the deck under the bedroom window of the house, clearly sensing that next to the humans was a safer place to be. If a hen tried to leave the deck, Poelleke clucked at her until she got back in place. Since then, every day since the bobcat attack, Poelleke has been bringing her chicken family back to the deck, just in case. The only injury she sustained was a scratch on her claw, which is healing well.
If you think about it, Poelleke did exactly what we teach in Kidpower – she used her awareness, hollered for help when danger threatened, fought back bravely when she had to, took herself and her family to a safer place as soon as she could, and made a safety plan to prevent future problems.
The next time someone worries about being “chicken,” you can tell The Poelleke Story! Yes, it’s a true story – I got it first-hand from one of the human witnesses, whom I know to be a reliable source.