Click here to read chapter 1 of Spark's adventures!
"I'll take you, you rotten chicken eater!" I said in a raspy, chicken-y sort of growl. "Feel the sting of my spurs! The tear of my beak!"
The fox snarled. My chicken legs trembled.
"Jake, DO something!" I squawked.
Jake had already jumped into action, as did his lady Arwen. They dashed wildly across the fenced yard, teeth bared. They stopped just sort of the fence, snarling and warning the fox to move on. "You'd better leave those hens be, or I'll jump over this fence and chase you all the way to the north bend in the river!" Jake barked.
On the other side of the fence, Mr. Fox sneered. He took another step closer. "You couldn't scale that fence if your life depended on it." Jake bristled and showed his teeth, but he knew the fox was right. "And you," he said, licking his chops and looking at me, "wouldn't fill a field mouse."
"Then why have you come, if you have deemed our chickens so unworthy of your time?" Arwen demanded.
"I have some... interesting news." The fox said in a sly tone of voice. "Someone or something has been using my forest trails. Someone I do not recognize the scent of."
For a moment they were all silent in thought. Spark knew what they were all thinking - last time the fox had reported something strange using his trails, it was a possum that had eaten one of his flock members and bitten one of the cats, and had terrorized the fox for days. Thus the reason, Spark was sure, that Mr. Fox had reported it. That fox was in need of something, he was wanting protection in exchange for his information.
"Do you want me to take you to my trails so you can see for yourself?" Mr. Fox asked. Jake thought for a moment, and then turned to Arwen.
"You stay here and watch the chickens. Spark and I will go down to investigate the trails."
"Me?" I said in a questioning cluck. "Why me? I am of little help... I am too small to do anything. And who will watch the girls?"
"Arwen will keep an eye on the hens. You are the only chicken able to fly very high, and we might need to get a view from above. Come on Spark, don't be chicken." Jake smiled a toothy grin. "Well, you know what I mean."
"All right." I sighed. I am not much for hiking.
The fox came around to the gate and after a little struggling, got it opened to let Jake out. I followed behind, ruffling my feathers. Thunder rolled in the distance.
We followed Mr. Fox to the edge of the woods where a narrow little trail curled into the deep, dark forest. I took a deep breath and followed Jake in. Above us, the trees began to sway and the thunder rolled again.
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