In silence we followed Mr. Fox single-file through the woods on his little hunting trail. I will admit I was rather unnerved by following a fox down into the woods... there was no telling what we'd see and my senses just screamed that something was not right. However, the flock must be protected and goodness knows I am the rooster for the job. Few can get past my razor sharp beak and spurs!
Up a hill and down the another, over a stream, through forests and thickets that grew thicker and thicker.
"So what do you hunt out here on these trails?" I heard Jake ask the fox.
"Rabbits mostly. Sometimes a frog will do."
"Frogs? Yuck!" I crowed.
"Shhhh!!" The fox snapped. "This is near the spot I was telling you about, so it is best you keep quiet. Lots of things out here would just love to sink their teeth into a chicken dinner."
The thought made my chicken brain spin.
At that, an owl hooted in the distance and the thunder rolled again.
"This place is creepy." Jake whispered to me. "If anything happens, jump on my shoulders and we are high-tailing it back to the house."
"Got it." I clucked.
Suddenly Mr. Fox stopped in a small clearing and sniffed the air. Jake did the same.
"Smell that?" Mr. Fox asked.
"Hmmmm...." Jake said. "Coyotes."
"Coyotes?! Nonsense. There hasn't been a coyote in these woods since my Granddaddy -" But the fox was cut off sharp by another voice in the darkness of the woods.
"Silence!" The voice growled. Lightening split the sky, and the thunder rolled again.
"Now this will be quite the supper, boys!" The voice jeered. And then, out of the woods from every nook and cranny coyotes surrounded us.
"I told you!!" Jake barked at the fox. The fox and Jake bristled at the encircling coyotes, bearing their teeth and growling. I stood firmly between the fox and Jake, trembling something awful. What were we gonna do?!
The fox tried to talk himself out of it, as foxes often have a habit of doing. "Maybe we can negotiate!" He begged them. But they only howled in laughter. They came closer and closer, until we could see every glittering tooth in their smiling mouths. This was sure to be the end! No more coaxing up the sun with my crows, no more hen house, no more cracked corn feed!
But then, the lightening struck a tree beside us and a large, dark figure appeared. The startled coyotes all turned to face this new intruder!
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