Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2160706-Farmyard-Noir
by kmack
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Animal · #2160706
Victor Bantam takes on a Criminal Raccoon Journey Through Genres entry 1327 words
"Put her down down, Rocko." I said, staring into amber eyes behind a mask of dark fur. The eyes of a killer.

Rocko sneered, then spat out his prey. Her name was Heather and she'd come with the mail order chicks last spring. She was a nice half grown chick who would never be a hen..

I lunged at the wire fence between us. He didn't even flinch. Heather's foster mother Lavern was behind me, cackling hysterically.

"What are you going to do, ya stringy old rooster?" Rocko jeered. "Peck me with your little beak? Come on, come at me. Hah! I didn't think so. This place has a nice buffet. Funny thing, that... I'll be back."

Rocko picked up the body of poor Heather and swaggered off into the woods.

* * *

My name's Victor. Victor Bantam. I'm in charge of this yard. More or less. I got my ladies to take care of, and all the chicks, as well as the cats, the dog, the cows, the geese. They all look up to me, count on me to keep them safe. So when a killer comes to the yard, it's me got to stop him. And this raccoon had been raiding my yard for the last three nights. I tried alerting the turn-key about the gap in the top of the fence where the killer had been getting in. Sitting on top of the mesh, near the gap, crowing and flapping my wings when the she came with the morning grub.

"Oh, Victor, hush up. I got you some nice cabbage. Get back in there," she said. I hopped up and down, pointing out the gap, but she just caught me and put me back on The Inside. She would not ,or could not, understand.

So now I slipped through the little hole in the fence. I went to the calico cat and suggested she help me take care of Rocko. I reminded her of how she'd taken care of a possum last summer.

"I had kittens then. Maternal instinct giving me strength and all that." she said offhandedly, grooming her muzzle with a wet paw. "I've seen Rocko - the big thug. Forget about it. I couldn't take him on my best day." She stretched lazily and curled up to sleep.

Next I went to Rolf, the black lab. "No dice, Vic" he said. "Me and the raccoon got a treaty in force." Rolf never got into a fight if he could help it, the big pansy.

There was one last chance. If I wasn't so desperate I wouldn't have taken it. It meant dealing with forces best left alone. But when I thought of that poor dead kid, her head lolling among barely fledged feathers... And who knew which of my flock would be next? I decided to use the ugliest weapon known to animal kind. Gossip.

* * *

Billy The Goat. Otherwise known as Crazy Billy. He was tethered among the berry brambles, having a quiet lunch. But the red-rimmed eyes and the wicked horns hinted at the volcano underneath.

"Say, Billy, how's it going?" I casually strutted up to him. I tried not to flaunt my gorgeous plumage. At this moment I didn't want to make him jealous because all he had was coarse, dull white fur and a stubby tail. Diplomatic, that's what I am.

"S'alright. Nice spot. She-Who-Feeds-Me found it for me." he said around a mouthful of blackberry vines.

"Hey, have you heard? There's a raccoon says he's the new king around here."

Crazy Billy's eyes blazed. That was the one thing that would set him off. Billy had a fixed idea that he was head of the farmyard. Which was ridiculous. Everyone knows I am.

"Just let him say that to me." said Billy, tossing his head "I'll teach him."

"You're right, you're right." I said. I hopped onto his back as though pursuing a bug and used the opportunity to get a look at his rope tether. The knots were tight, and not something I could figure out how to undo anyway. But there was slack around the neck. Maybe it could be worked up over his head. "Well" I said casually, "I must be off." The seed was planted.

I spent that day making the rounds, whispering in the ear of the cat, the dog, and the geese. Things I knew would get right back to Billy.

I let Lavern in on my plans, and the part she was to play. "Think you can do it, gorgeous?" Lavern is a bombshell. She's got brown feathers tipped in black - real swanky. Together with the level head of a brood-hen.

"If there's any chance of getting back at that rat-bag pullet killer, I'll see it through." she said with stiff necked dignity. Her hysteria of the morning was gone, replaced by sober, cold determination. At dusk, just before the time of day Rocko chose for his raids, she and I went to the blackberry patch. Billy was still there. He grunted a greeting when he saw us.

"Say Billy. There's something I got to tell you about Rocko."

"Rocko again. Huh! I've been hearing about him all day. Little pipsqueak. If he thinks he's king of the yard let him say so to my face." Billy The Goat's nostrils flared.

I leaned in, confidential-like. "He's been bragging that when he gets through with you, no one will respect you. He's coming tonight to the henhouse. Says he's gonna get some eggs to throw at you and you'll be a laughing stock and he's gonna be king." Billy's eyes were spinning in his head by now.

Lavern came forward. "Hold on Billy, I'll get you loose." She hopped on his back and made a show of examining the rope on his neck. She had instructions to delay turning Billy loose until she got my signal. The timing had got to be right. Billy was pawing the ground and straining at the tether. I hoped he didn't break free too soon.

I left her to it and went back and slipped through the fence, back on The Inside. Not a minute too soon. Rocko was there. He started climbing the fence. I ran up it from my side and slashed him across a paw with my spur. I crowed the signal for Lavern. But it was going to take time for her to get Billy loose. I had to stall.

"So Rocko. We meet again." I said. Or some other dumb line. I probably babbled. I wanted to delay him. Rocko hissed at me.

"Stupid rooster. Now you've made me mad." He dropped down and licked his scratched paw. He regarded me with his mad golden eyes. "I was just gonna get one of the chickens. Now I think I have a hankering for rooster." he backed up to make a run at the fence. He smirked. "Funny thing, that..."

Just then the sound of thundering hooves, and Crazy Billy appeared. "Oh ho!" cried Billy. He'd spotted Rocko. "So, you think you're better than me, fur ball?" His red rimmed eyes fairly glowed and he was frothing at the mouth. He came for the raccoon.

"What are you talk- ?" Rocko broke off. He was baffled but had to defend himself from stomping hooves. "You crazy-" Rocko gave up trying to talk to Billy. The raccoon stood up on his hind legs, ready to scratch with his front paws, but that just left his belly open for Billy to kick. Which Billy did. Hard. In pain, Rocko curled up in a raccoon-ball.

Which made Billy's day. Lowering his head, he caught Rocko with his horns and threw him high in the air. Far off Rocko landed with a crash in the old hog house.

We haven't seen Rocko since... Funny thing, that.

1,327 words

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