Pity my poor father-in-law. He had twelve chicks when I went to see him for the New Year. While I was there, two chicks were taken by a hawk, one by a snake, and a fourth disappeared. Last night the remaining eight chicks were taken by a ratel, along with three fully grown chickens. My father-in-law threw an assegaai at the ratel, but the assegaai bounced off. OBSERVATION: According to the Guinness Book of Records, a ratel is the "most fearless animal in the world".