Some Queens have royal guards for their safety. US officials have the Secret Service. Idaho's elected leaders have Idaho State Police Troopers.
I have Fowl Terrorists.
I could have trained a rottweiler or a pit bull. Nope.
And they're the biggest assholes on the block.
While I'm often tempted to serve the bastards up for dinner, they do their job. Sometimes too well.
When I ordered them a year ago, I ordered extra thinking I might have a death loss. But I didn't. So now I don't just have a flock. I have a team of bad-ass mercenaries hellbent on keeping order in the land.
Just this morning, one of the geese went after my husband as if he was a marauder from a rival land. He was not nearly frightened enough for her satisfaction. She appeared rather disgruntled when I managed to get her backed off.
Originally there were 6 ducks. After some observation, I thought the ducks were innocent bystanders in the operation. I thought they'd been bullied into submission by the larger birds. While I suspect there are a couple of ducks that would rather be doing something else, they've shown they can hang in with the big boys. My sixth duck, a female mallard named Burgess was my favorite. When she quacked it sounded like Burgess Meredith's portrayal of the Penguin in the old BatMan series. She had character. I really liked her.
It appeared she was getting attacked frequently and she was starting to limp. I thought I'd try to help the girl out, so I caught and let her live in the bathtub a couple of days so she could get a break. Then when I put her back out, I tried to keep her separated for a few days so she could continue to heal.
I sat on the front step and watched as she attacked the other ducks through the fence as they walked by. Turns out she was the mean girl, not the others.
I put the Fowl Terrorists into action because rumor has it geese will keep snakes away from their territory. I haven't seen a snake this year, so I'm going to assume that rumor is, in fact, true. The snakes are probably too afraid to come into the yard. The Terrorists have absolutely destroyed it. They dig holes and poop everywhere else. They hiss at you if you look at them wrong. A couple of weeks ago, I planted some flowers and plants to try to spruce up the place a bit. The Terrorists pulled everything up by the roots, stripped the leaves and left every plant for dead. This includes my acquisition of a plant called "Hairy Balls". This is a plant that deserves to be in my royal garden. No, I NEED a plant called Hairy Balls in my garden. Each morning, I'd try to replant the baby balls. By nighttime, the foul birds would have dug it out again.
This allowed what's left of my chicken flock to move into the planters and claim them as summer nesting space.
The leader of the gang is a goose named "Lefty". He appears to be an outcome oriented sort of fellow. Gives out a few orders and lets the other do his work.
(I should point out I don't actually know which ones are male and which ones are female. I don't pay that much attention. I suspect there are two females in the bunch as they are the meanest.)
The Terrorists are also quite a noisy flock -- so if someone is in the yard and I'm in the house, I can hear them "bark" -- and then go out to check on things. They've alerted me to strangers several times. Mostly, however, they're terrorizing someone who is supposed to be there, like my children or husband.
It's not like I didn't try to raise them in a civilized manor. I have a lovely and warm coop for them to sleep in. They eat there, and occassionly lay their eggs there, but they refuse to sleep inside. They sleep under the flood light in the front yard.
Always on duty, I guess.
They've also become rather picky. I have a pool filled with water for them to bathe in. I try to replace the water every other day. If I'm at all delayed, they make their disapproval known by surrounding the pool and giving me an evil stare until I take the time to clean their water. Last week I was busy and didn't get their water changed according to their schedule. They pulled up more plants.
My chicken coop caved in winter before last and it took a long while to get the century-old rock walls repaired. That left my chickens roaming free range and consequently victim to any invaders such as raccoons and coyotes coming through the place. My flock when from 75 to 5. I'll point out the geese are of no use here, but haven't fallen victim to predators. Only Burgess has disappeared and I suspect she turned on them so they took her out in a mob-style hit.
I really try hard to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere around here. I like to think the lack of snakes adds to that aura. But after watching the geese push my husband back into his pickup this morning, I may have to rethink my hiring decisions.
That's all for now, my friends. Beware of feathered mercenaries.
(Photos coming. I'm having some technical issues this week!)