Murder most fowl

Posted 8/14/19

This is a story about murder and triumph.

First comes murder.

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Murder most fowl

Posted

This is a story about murder and triumph.

First comes murder.

In the midst of last February’s snowmageddon, as the wind whipped snow and ice across the streets of Port Townsend, the city’s raccoons were cold, hungry and searching for snacks.

Unaware of the imminent danger, two innocent Rhode Island Red hens, named Peep and Cluck, sat snug in their warm coop. Usually, the strength of the chicken wire that surrounds the coop is enough protection. But not this time.

“One raccoon managed to unthread the wire,” said Shelly Randall, the mother of Soren Randall, who is the 10-year-old owner of the chickens.

Soon, Peep and Cluck were faced with a monster. Cluck, the bigger of the two, puffed up her chest and ran at the raccoon, giving Peep time to run away and hide. She lost her life in the battle.

The suspect is still at large.

For the Randalls, it was a sad loss, but also a display of character.

“Bravery is important, no matter where it comes from,” said Gloria Randall, Soren’s grandmother.

Fast forward several months. At the Jefferson County Fair, Peep stood still and tall as the judges swathed her in blue, winning ribbons.

But even while basking in the glory of winning Best In Show at the Jefferson County Fair, Peep owed it all to her friend Cluck.

“This is a chicken that’s a surprise win,” Randall said. “She’s an older bird. And she did almost lose her life this year.”

Soren has been showing Peep at the fair for the past several years and this won’t be his last, Randall said.

“He really likes to just show off his chicken and let people come in and pet her,” she said.

Peep is especially fun to show, she said, because of the chicken’s ability to stand incredibly still throughout the duration of the judging. While others have to place a hand on their chicken to hold them, Soren stands still with Peep at his side, while the judges deliberate.

“He just loves his chickens,” Randall said. “He cares for them and talks to them. He understands their language.”

But big kudos go to the 4-H program in Jefferson County, Randall said. The poultry group offers kids like Soren the opportunity to care for animals, even if they don’t have one themselves.

“You can join an animal club without owning an animal,” Randall said.

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Tom Camfield

That brave chicken makes my day! She'll never make the history books, but she's an example of character that sadly is not emulated by much of humankind.

Wednesday, August 14