Bravado (story, part 1 of 3)

Charlie peered around the corner of the hen house, looking to see if any of the hens would see him returning. The coast clear, he stepped into the muddy yard and headed for the ramp that would take him up into the shelter.

Halfway up the ramp he stopped as he heard footsteps padding close behind. He turned, mustering all the bravado a lone rooster can, and glared right into the eyes of the red fox standing at the bottom of the ramp.

Charlie puffed out his chest, bright feathers rippling, and stretched tall. His bright combs adding to his height, making him appear larger than life, he stepped forward.

He started berating the fox.

“Fred! Just what do you think you’re doing? We had an agreement! Remember?!”, Charlie bellowed.

“Shhh, someone will hear! It’s the youngins see. Ever since Farmer Johnson across the valley got rid of his chickens they haven’t been getting enough to eat. My youngest has fallen sick now. I’m afraid we need more than the half dozen eggs you’ve been providing.”, said the fox.

“How many do you need?”, replied Charlie.

“A full dozen would do us well.”

“A dozen!”, Charlie sputtered, “I could never sneak that many out without raising suspicions! I’m not sure how we’ve managed a half dozen a day for this long now. Poor Millie, I had been sneaking her egg away each day. Her mind being addled and all she never noticed. Sadly, the coop keeper noticed no eggs were coming from her roost and she’s been sent to The Pot.”

“Oh dear!”, replied Fred.

“The others, I think they notice something is amiss but haven’t pinned it down yet. I’ve had to let that filthy rat into the coop in broad daylight just to take the heat off me.”

“My my…what am I going to do?”, Fred pondered, “I can’t go back to my den empty handed.”

[To be continued…(Insidious, Bravado part 2 of 3),(Unexpected, Bravado part 3 of 3)]

Word of the Day Challenge: bravado

Special thanks to TheDigitalArtist for the image.

© 2018 – James Sponseller –

[I originally posted this over at SharedHere]

Published by Jim Sponseller

Family man, father, programmer, and artist. I work with digital art, photographs, author poems and fiction, and also work in artistic metal smithing. You can find poems, photos, and digital art samplings at Thank you for your support! If you like my offerings and would like to donate, please buy me a coffee:

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