Bobby is our resident quail. Seemingly, out of nowhere, he showed up one morning in the chicken run. Quail are not native to Northeastern, and so he most likely was purchased from a local feed supply store or even mail order catalog (which is how we purchased our chickens).
Given that we have no real idea who raised Bobby, which direction he arrived from into our yard, nor do we have knowledge of the purpose for which Bobby was purchased (e.g. fielding training dogs, food for someone, etc), I have thus been handed the main subject of a short, anthropomorphic work of fiction. This is T. Bobby Quail’s story; perhaps this would make a good children’s story.
Bobby lurched and hopped his way through the brambles on the edge of a patch of wetland. He paused briefly to catch his breath; he perched on the branch of a fallen tree. He listened.
Off in the distance, toward the northeast – along the edge of Mogie Lake – he could hear them, two of them. The crisp fall leaves could be heard underfoot as they were trampled on by a pair of foxes. The pair zigged and zagged across the path that Bobby had taken. They were on his trail and Bobby knew it.
Bobby broke through the brambles and into an open area. A large, open area; He was at the edge of the rail yard. Pairs of tracks stretched out in front him for what appeared to be forever. Bobby began hopping; over one rail, hop…hop…hop, and over the next rail. He felt he might never make it to the other side.
The two foxes arrived at the edge of the rail yard as Bobby was nearly half way across. Bobby ducked behind a rail. Each fox looked around, sniffed the ground, sniffed air, and then sniffed the ground, again. They glanced at one another as if silently saying, “Yes, I agree, he went this way.”
Bobby jumped up, and flew a short distance before he got into a rhythm; hop, fly, run – hop, fly, run. Distance was gaining between himself and the foxes, but the foxes had seen him while flying and were quickly attempting to close the gap.
The foxes zigged and zagged across Bobby’s trail. Hop, Fly, Run… Bobby made his way across the rail yard and was back into brambles; there were more trees on this side – he quickly hopped above the brambles and up into a tall birch tree. The foxes circled the tree; sniffing the air, sniffing the ground and then air, again. No low hanging branches were on tree the for the pair to use as climbing steps. They continued to circle the tree. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff.
Bobby rested. He caught his breath while he watched the pair of foxes circle the base of the tree. A hour went by; night was coming. The foxes, realizing their meals plans would not include fresh quail, moved on toward the northwest. Bobby watched them leave and follow the edge of a creek. The pair disappeared into the brambles.
Off in the distance, beyond the creek, Bobby could hear other birds talking. These were not wild birds and they were certainly not other quail. He thought to himself that an investigation of these birds would need to wait until morning. For now, he would rest and be thankful he did not end up a meal for two foxes.