Monday, June 21, 2010

Raccoon in the Chicken Coop

A raccoon got into the chicken coop and killed nineteen chickens.

Lenny was upset. The next morning at 4:00 a.m. he waited outside the chicken coop with his .22 rifle.

As expected the raccoon came back for more. When it spotted Lenny, it ran for the nearest tree and climbed up. Lenny stood below the tree and aimed the rifle. One shot stung it.

The raccoon descended the tree to attack him. The next shot killed it.


Steve said...

"The raccoon descended the tree to attack him." Sounds like an exceptionally feisty raccoon. After being "stung" by a .22, the raccoons of my acquaintance would simply look for the most direct path to slink away. But, Lenny was there, so I accept his interpretation of the raccoon's state of mind.

When we had chickens, oppossums were a more recurring problem than raccoons. A cornered oppossum seems to be all teeth.

As always, nifty watercolor, Jim. In a strange way, it reminds me of Homer's Right and Left.

Anonymous said...

Dang. Had no idea racoons were that vicious.

Great sketch.

Colin said...

If it attacked him, especially after being shot once, it was probably rabid/

Tyler J said...

Great Yin and Yang poultry; deceptively simple.

I normally don't do this, but I animated a raccoon about a year and a half ago, but I left out the vicious side:

Good story, my sympathies to Lenny =(

tiffannysketchbook said...

aww i LOVE chickens. and I love watercolor. Thanks for putting the two together in this awesome sketch.

tayete said...

This sunday I was sketching the same scene you are depicting today, James!

Sorry for invading your blog, Mr. Gurney, but I couldn't help it...I love this kind of coincidences.

My Pen Name said...

why would it kill 19??

James Gurney said...

Tayete, It's OK if people link to their blogs. Nice studies!

Pen Name: Lenny said he wouldn't have minded so much if it just took one to eat it. But it just killed almost all of them (biting off their heads), and left their carcasses. Lenny is such a nurturer that he hated to kill an animal.

Gene Snyder said...

Raccoons are monsters!!! ;0) I had two experiences with raccoons while in the Army at Ft. Knox Kentucky. The first was while I was sleeping. I had guard duty that night and felt a tug on my shirt sleeve and thought I was being woke up by the person on guard before me for my shift. I looked up bleary-eyed and was face-to-face with a raccoon!!! I yelped and jumped and the critter ran away under the edge of the tent.

The second encounter with raccoons happened the next night while I was actually on guard duty. My unit had sixteen armored personnel carriers (APCs are boxey armored tanks that carry troops around) lined up next to each other out in the middle of the woods. I was sitting in the back of one and started to hear a bunch of sticks and brush moving outside the clearing. I got my weapon off of my shoulder and asked, "Who goes there? Sending out a challenge password and waiting for a reply. This fat raccoon comes out of the woodline and waddles toward me. I threw a couple of dirty clods at him, but he didn't budge. I figured out he was after the big bag of trash that was hanging off of the back of the APC I was sitting in. Finally, I hit him, he hissed and ran away. Shortly after that, I see about 5 pairs of glowing eyes coming out of the treeline. He brought his friends back with him!!! I could do nothing but retreat to the top of the APC and let the gang have at the trash in the bag. Boy were they nasty!!! They hissed and spit at me the whole time.

tlchang said...

I so feel for Lenny! We've had raccoons kill 2/3 of our flock in one night (they only like a couple tiny parts of them. Rotten critters). I am no longer warm and fuzzy towards coons or 'possums (who pulled a toe off one of my replacement chickens shortly thereafter!)

I do keep replacing them, one reason being that they are delightful to paint. :-) Love yours.

Cristy said...

Beautiful watercolor -I love these sketches you do, Mr. Gurney.
Poor Lenny. Few things are as heartbreaking as heading out to tend your flock in the morning and finding the scene of a massacre. Clearly, Lenny's been down this road before and knows what to do. The popular concept that predators only take what they need to survive rarely relates to reality - and chickens are the ultimate squeaky toy to many animals. I don't know what it is about 'coons that they like to bite off just heads, but that's very typical. Hope Lenny has some replacement chicks in the brooder - at least that lovely pair was left to paint!
Good for you, James, for not shying away from describing a bit of the reality of rural living on your art weblog. It's good for folks - even if it stirs a little controversy.

combatartist64 said...

I would really like to have coffee with you James or a stroll through the Smithsonian - everything and anything seems to interest you and your erudite views and comments are terrific. I'm making sure my 9 year old boy & I sit down and review your latest blog.

Jennifer G. Oliver said...

So sad to hear this. I do wildlife rehabilitation and I've raised a number of raccoon cubs that were released back into the wild. They are some of the most loving and intelligent animals out there-more so than most domestic species. I agree with what a few others have said; the raccoon in question had to have been sick. Wonton killing isn't in their nature, and a healthy raccoon would never run toward an attacker unless cornered.