Adventures in Homesteading: A Tale of Three Tails Chapter 9
Chapter 9: The Trick
“Just a few more leaves for this owl and we’ll be ready.” Pudgy dusted the leaf scraps from his paws and looked around at the scene. Huge, leafy, surprisingly realistic, owls were set up throughout the property with chipmunks and field mice in each one, ready to start hooting at his signal.
Leo scampered up to him, smiling and bouncing on his tiny feet. “It’s a great plan, Pudgy.”
“Thank you.” Pudgy looked at Leo in surprise. “That’s erm, nice of you to say.”
Leo shrugged and scuttled to his owl, ready for the signal.
“Are you sure about this, Gomer?” Pipsqueak asked. “You don’t have to do it you know.”
Gomer was shaking like the leafy owls, but determined to go through with the plan. “Y-yes, I’m s-sure.”
“You are the biggest and will be the easiest to spot,” Pudgy said once again. “It will be over before you know it. Now...go!”
With a trembling tail and wide eyes, Gomer raced out into the open squeaking loudly and running around in circles while
Pudgy and Pipsqueak watched for the hawk. After a few moments, Pipsqueak saw the hawk circling slowly toward Gomer.
It’s eyes were focused and bright as it zeroed in on the bait.
Pudgy gave the signal. “Caw-ca-caw!”
A chorus of hoots and who’s filled the air.
The hawk, used to being the biggest, baddest predator on the homestead, looked around and saw the owls hooting and shaking in the breeze. For a moment, the hawk continued it’s flight. Then, seeming to decide it wasn’t worth the trouble, circled back and flew off, far away from the homestead.
All was quiet as the mice and chipmunks waited to see if it would come back. When it was clear the hawk was gone, possibly for good, a cheer rose up and the owls burst as the scurry of chipmunks and the mischief of mice popped out and celebrated their victory.
“Well done!” Pudgy shouted.
“Let’s celebrate!” Leo jumped around, throwing cherry tomatoes and dancing with string beans.
The leaders of each group shook hands and the celebration lasted until the porch light went on and everyone scattered to their homes.
Previously published on A Pinch of Homestead