We have a weasel.
She's gotten about ten chickens so far. We go down in the morning to do chores, and we find a dead, headless chicken. In one case, we just found a hole in the chicken wire to the coop, with some blood smeared on the door frame, and a few feathers.
It's a terrible feeling. We were supposed to protect the chickens. We promised them. That was the deal. You give us eggs, and we will feed and house and protect you. We might kill you eventually, but we will do it as quickly as we can, because we know you. We held you when you were a baby. We watched you grow. It's the Great Domestication Deal.
But it doesn't take away the reality of wilderness vs agriculture. The woods vs civilization. As farmers on the edge of the woods, we are at the frontline of this ancient battle.
Do we revere nature and respect the weasel's need for food?
Or do we stake her out with a rifle in hand and try to kill her?
My husband is unequivocally taking the latter approach. He was up at five this morning, leaning against a hay bale with a rifle laid across his chest, waiting. It got light, and he saw a dead, headless hen lying in the corner of the barn; the weasel had already come and gone.
We have been lucky all these years, with very few predators. Our hens and rabbits free-range. Those days may be over.
I'm Larissa. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved animals, and always felt the urge to MAKE things. In my farm life, I get to pursue both these paths. Luckily, my husband and kids feel the same way.