The waxing moon makes bright
the nooks and shady niches of the the night,
last spring frost settled hard,
about the henhouse on the top yard,
Fernec the fox, rust red
and silent as a shadow
slinks along the fence line.
His nose low, body thin, a fox in harsh decline.
The ladies of the coop, disturbed,
The scent of doom and death,
A fox? Perhaps, not certain yet.
A ruffling and puffling of plumage,
a fluffing and fluttering of feathers
and a general fuss of chucks chuckling.
Fernec finds a break in the fence,
the smell of scallions and leeks,
breaks over him as he breaches the boundary,
in and prowling low he goes,
following his questing nose,
jaws slavering in anticipation
The fowl becomes voluminous now,
a clucking clacking panicked row,
the cockerel furious at the intrusion struts and pecks in distain.
Marches up and down the line
the scent of death draws closer yet,
cockerel senses blood and regret.
Then from the hall,
the clatter and the call,
the bark and bay of hounds away.
The scatter as they tumble
and stumble in disarray.
A mutt a mooch and a terrier
run into the night.
Brave mouse hounds in full flight.
Fernec is in the henhouse,
the chucks in trouble,
the peahen in peril,
the cockerel crows loud and long
amongst his spouses, panicked throng,
ladies hunker low, clucking grows,
jaws snip and snap and snarl
The dogs dash in, scattering rooster and hen.
Fernec furious yips and yaps
as quick and bare he dashs
dainty through the fowl flap,
darts across the yard and the soft fruit.
mouse hounds in blooded pursuit,
Fernec finds the fence, dashes desperate,
left and right
until the break comes into sight
Terrier leads the pack,
as the fox breaks back,
tearing clean across the moonlight meadow,
dog stand tall barking loud,
strut in victory baying proud
And at the coop peace returns,
cockrel struts along the line,
fowl again all settled fine,
hunkered down chick and hen,
danger over, peace returned.
© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com