Three of our beautiful egg-laying chickens were stolen from our coop by some nefarious wildlife type critter within 24 hours. So while my husband and I went to work shoring up the defenses of our chicken coop with barbed wire, chicken wire, boards and nails, our five sons launched a large-scale paramilitary operation on our backwoods 20 acres.
Upon discovering that the third hen had been stolen, the boys descended into a huddle. With occasional furtive glances toward the coop, they spent a solid five minutes whispering, planning and gesticulating wildly. They came up with smooth, round, little jaws firmly set and a fire in their big innocent brown, hazel and grey-blue and bright-blue eyes, respectively. Being the eldest, and self-appointed spokesman for the brothers, Liam strode forward and commanded our attention.
"We have a plan. With barbed wire and a few dangerous touches from us" -- here he gestured expansively toward his younger brothers who stood around with arms crossed looking fierce -- "that fox is going to wish he'd never seen our chickens."
He went on to inform us dramatically while waving an imaginary sword in the air, "I am the bane of all chicken-thieving foxes!" (Let me tell you, folks, if that fox ever runs into the point of Liam's imaginary sword, it's done for!)
Aidan strained and puffed and lifted a large cinder block to waist level and said, "I can wait over there," jerking his head toward the feather-strewn scene of the crime, "and drop this on that mean old fox if he comes back!"
Ty, who was having an incredibly hard time looking terrifying due to his recent loss of his top front teeth, adopted a serious expression and explained, "We're forming 'The First Royal Chicken Guard.' Aidan and I will wear our bike helmets and fill a bucket with heavy rocks, two badminton rackets, some brambly sticks and Aidan's club weapon," and here Ty brandished a stubby piece of spare two-by-four he found next to the shed. "We'll stand guard all day long. And when we see that fox? Whoa boy! We'll whack it good!"