I’ve always been told they would only take prey in a dive. The chicken yard was laced over with tree branches. There was no way they could dive in. Unfortunately, no one had ever told the hawks that they were limited in that way. I heard the chickens carrying on with great drama one morning, and when I went running out, I realized that the one of the hawks had simply hopped in and was killing a large red hen in a ground fight. Her friends were watching it play out like a horror film. They were highly agitated to say the least. Once my daughter, Evangeline, and I were sitting in the kitchen trying to have a relaxing cup of coffee when we saw one jump down through the branches and kill a screaming squirrel. So much for only killing prey in a dive. I’m glad that I’m not terribly portable. Sheesh.
Anyway, I thought since I’d moved to Atlanta, in the middle of a subdivision that I would leave the hawks behind. Guess what? I have a nest of red-tailed hawks living even closer to my house here, and I’m pretty sure it’s full of babies. Now I have to be concerned about the cats walking outside and being carried off. Actually, not carried off some distance…but eaten right outside the window of the upstairs bedroom. Sigh. We will have to be careful with neighbors like that.
Nevertheless, I don’t begrudge the hawks their living. I haven’t lost a single plant or bulb to squirrels or rabbits; I bet I don’t have poisonous snakes or rats outside. I guess they have as much right to scratch out a life here as I do. And they’re beautiful birds. Hopefully, we can be peaceful neighbors.
Julie Carpenter is the creator of the Sacred Chickens website. She is dedicated to telling stories and making sure that indie writers and publishers have a way to be heard. She uses narrative, her own and others’, to help interpret the world. She has a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Memphis, with an emphasis in Composition Theory. She wants to bend reality one story at a time. Julie’s work has appeared in Fiction on the Web and will be included The New Guard. She is currently working on a novel.