How DO those chickens keep getting out of their pen? The rain finally cleared today so I let them out this morning. I was gone for a few hours, but when I came back all was well. Then later my neighbor, Doug, knocked on the door. When I answered it, Lytton escaped. I couldn't see where he went, and Doug was talking to me about the title to the Capitalist Pig Car, which I have given to him. Within seconds I remembered the chickens and left Doug standing there while I hurried to the back yard. Of course Lytton was there, running around the outside of the fence chasing the chickens. He wasn't able to get inside the pen, but he probably would have found a way shortly. I called him as if he would come to me, but of course he didn't. Then I saw New Esther near the trees, outside the pen. Lytton hadn't noticed yet, and I tried to sneak up on her to grab her. After several failed attempts, Lytton finally saw what was going on and took off after her. I ran after them both, fell down in the wet grass, got up and resumed the chase. New Esther kept leaping into the air to avoid Lytton's jaws, but eventually he caught her.
By the time I caught up to them Lytton was biting her repeatedly and she was on the ground like a limp rag. I grabbed Lytton and carried him back to the dog yard, secured him, and went back to the scene of the assault. Poor little Esther was still lying there, feathers all around her, her feet stretched out behind her. I patted her and looked her all over. I couldn't find any wounds, although there must be some. I picked her up and carried her back to the chicken house where the other chickens were hiding. When I put her down, she walked off with a slight limp. I went back to the house for feed, and when I came back she joined the others in a feeding frenzy, looking perfectly healthy. I only hope that she didn't suffer any serious injury.
There are times when I just can't believe that this keeps happening, but I suppose dogs and chickens just don't go together. And try as I might, I can't seem to secure the chicken pen, or keep the dogs from escaping. After today's event my hands were shaking and I felt weak with relief that nothing worse had happened. There is something in me that won't give up, though, and I will keep trying to keep the chickens safe. I can't help but think that they still have a better life with me than they would otherwise have, even with the danger. The place they came from was hell, and if their lives end up being shorter, at least they had some time to be comfortable and happy.