Yesterday evening, Dianna and I had somewhere to go, so Bob had to put the turkeys and chickens away. He didn't say anything about the birds when we got home, so we presumed all was well. Just before he went upstairs to bed, he stopped and asked me, "How many chickens do you have?"
"Twelve," I replied.
"I think King Louis might be missing, then," he said.
I went out to the chicken coop, and there were eleven hens, but no rooster. Dianna and I took flashlights and looked all over the yard, but we could find no rooster. At that point, I knew he was dead, because King Louis loved his hens, and would never leave them. If somehow he got left out of the chicken coop after it was closed, he would have been perched on it or next to it, trying to be as close to his hens as possible.
This morning we looked for King Louis again once it got light. He was nowhere to be found, and there was neither blood nor a suspicious trail of feathers to be found. (These would be signs of a fox or raccoon attack.) This leads us to believe that the pair of Red-Tail Hawks that was hanging around and watching the chickens finally took action. Red-Tails are, after all, also called Chicken Hawks.
Although King Louis was a real terrorist, he really cared for his flock. Every time he attacked me, it was only because he thought his hens were in danger. Recently, Louis and I were starting to come to understand each other. I was learning what to do to avoid provoking him. I suppose I can use such lessons on a future rooster, but I wish I could still practice with Louis. I'm surprised how much I'm missing him.