The was an old Ukrainian fable that has existed on the Canadian prairies for nearly sixty years. It was a lore that many today would see as brutal and ruthless. The folklore of the carcasses is based on part fact and part superstition. But in the tale that you are about hear there was one Ukrainian farmer named Pete Samoil who took things to the extreme as we are about to find out.
On the Samoil homestead in the 1940s Pete lived with his wife and his seven boys. They were a farming family that harvested crops and raised pigs and cattle. But over the years on the farm various problems arised. The first one that the family encountered was in the fall time hundreds if not thousands of crows descended on the fields and ravaged the crops. In response Pete would grab his shotgun and head out to the fields and start to blast away at the crows. He didn't care if he killed a few dozen because killing a few dozen crows would do nothing as hundreds more would return. Pete realized that the crows knew the crack of a shotgun and they would scatter upon hearing it. The shotgun blast would keep them away from the fields for a while but ultimately they would return. It is interesting to note the truth in a crow's instinctive reaction to the cracking of a shotgun blast because if you are to clap loudly at a crow or a murder of crows they will flee immediately as the clapping sound has been hardwired into their brains as a threat to their survival.
The day after Pete blasted the crows he would always go out into the field and pick up them up, but one day he forgot to and a couple of his sons picked up the crows and hung their carcasses up on the fence. For the next week the crows did not return, but then some animal from the bush and ate the crows hanging off the fence. The next day the crows came back but now Pete knew how to get rid of them.
Several months later in the wintertime the livestock that roamed the fields was being attacked and mutilated by wolves or coyotes. In response Pete waited until nightfall and patrolled the fields with his shotgun waiting for the coyotes or wolves. Finally after hours of waiting he saw a pack of coyotes trotting across the field in the moonlight. He watched as they moved in to maul a calf and that's when he opened fire killing three of the five coyotes. The next day he hung the coyote carcasses off the fence and the coyotes no longer returned. Just like the crows they could sense death of their own in the area.
The next summer something was crawling into the chicken coop and killing the chickens, so Pete waited in the coop and when something entered the chickens started screeched and Pete started shooting.
The next day he hung up the body of his next door neighbor as a warning for others to stay away from his coop.
And this is the folklore tale of the hung carcasses.