Something sad and mysterious happened at home while I was obliviously gallivanting around the Yosemite wilderness. My flock of six chickens vanished. Well, five of them are gone without a trace, and only poor lonely Clara is left. She has been pecking around the yard in a desultory manner, is not laying, and seems quite sad to be roosting alone. She's been hanging out in the gardening basket by the door a lot.
Where did they go? I know there has been a family of young hawks in my woods, and I have seem them buzz around the coop. But I can't imagine that they could kill and consume five plump chickens in one afternoon without leaving any feathers or other signs of struggle. Did they get spooked and run away and then got lost? Did they miss me and set off in a quest to follow me? Were they nabbed by chicken rustlers? My friend Jean Elizabeth thinks they joined the circus.
So farewell to Martha, Ethel and Ruth, who have been with me since the beginning and laid such gigantic eggs. Also alas for Mildred and Agnes, the two lovely new wyandottes.
I hope to get two more hens tomorrow, black australorps...will keep you posted.