I looked out the kitchen window and saw a huge raccoon among the chickens. I ran outside shouting “go away” as loud as I could shout. When I got to the barnyard I saw the chickens were scattering, including the little chicks. The raccoon was running away along the fence, but a chicken was running ahead of him.

“I hope it is not the mother hen,” I thought, as I ran as fast as I could. And then I saw the raccoon had stopped, but he had a chicken. “Let go,” I screamed again and again, but  the raccoon ignored me, until I was within ten feet of him. Then he turned and looked at me. I felt a little flash of fear. Would he attack me for interfering with his prey? But he simply turned and ambled away, not particularly fast.

A friend of ours was archery hunting for deer on our property, and hearing my screams he came down from his tree stand. He saw the coon climb over the fence and disappear into the woods. Later he told us that it was the biggest raccoon he had ever seen. When he was a boy he had trapped them, so he had seen a lot of them.

Meanwhile I rescued the chicken. The raccoon had caught her leg as she attempted to climb through a 5 inch by 5 inch square in the fence. Her leg was broken; it hung limp. Otherwise she was not hurt. I brought her back to the barnyard and sure enough, she was the mother of the newly hatched chicks I wrote about last week.

With sorrow I put her in an 8 by 10 foot pen in the barn and the little chicks climbed under her wings. She is caring for them. She hops on one leg, but spends most of the time sitting down. I know that chickens can survive rather well with one leg, but I feel so sad for her.

I wonder if she confronted the raccoon to try to protect her chicks. Sometimes a mother animal will sacrifice her own life to save her little ones. My mind is drawn to Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us.

 

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