predators

Sunday, October 20:

   Something killed a ram lamb at the bottom of the pasture.  Parallel slashes across the ribs and a single bite, low on the shoulder, from a small set of sharp canines, do not look like the signature of the coyotes who sang to us this morning at five-thirty while we were milking, nor do they explain why, when we skinned the lamb for the hogs, the abdominal cavity was ruptured in three places where the hide was still unbroken, evidence, it would seem, of heavy blows.  Three new tunnels on the hillside, with three long heaps of clay and rock, like tailings spilling from a mine shaft, inform us of new neighbors, but as of even date no one has seen them, and we are left to speculate without adequate information.

   We hung the carcass in an empty box stall to keep it from the dogs until we could find time to skin it out, which being two days later the thing smelled pretty high, but we quartered it and boiled it in the big slop kettle, which will take care of the hogs’ protein needs for several days.

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