This is not necessarily a children's fairytale and may not be child suitable as it involves a predator so use your own judgment upon reading this tale of the Goblin-Gnome, A Pitcher and A Possum. The Goblin-Gnome, A Pitcher and A Possum Chapter 1 The Neighbor aka The Goblin-Gnome I believe everyone has a neighbor they could do without and I am no exception to this curse. You know the type of neighbor of which I speak...really bordering on stupid, always displaying a high aptitude for idiocy and resembling a munchkin gone bad. Well mine is nickenamed the Goblin-Gnome because we believe that is in fact his heritage. 4' 8" or so praying for 5' on a good day, nasty greased hair and beard that makes every decent human want to hold him down and cover him in liquid soap and hose him real good just on principle. So, my Goblin-Gnome also owns chickens, which have been the source of annoyance for me for the last two years. They wander over here, I chase them away, they come back and you get the picture. They are housed in chainlink kennels with no tops, have tree branches for roosts and are constantly preyed upon in our predator rich environment. Last Summer there were some young (juvenile aged) white rocks that appeared in front of my house one morning scrounging for dropped feed here and there. There were 8 little pullets and 1 little cockerel. They disappeared through the wooded back side of our property each night and reappeared in front of the house each morning. They were healthy little things but they were obviously getting picked off one by one every other night or so. Every few days there would be one less appearing. So, I put out a feeder and a waterer for them at my wood line because the thought of them arving was too much for me. Well, they moved in. One night they went into our garage and I closed them up there. The next evening they went back to the garage and so it began....I owned white rocks. Fast forward to today...4 white rock pullets remain with us, the reamining ones picked off and the cockerel killed by my Orpington rooster. Recently, the Goblin-Gnome stopped in front of our house (we are next to last on a dead end road so no need for him to be down here period) and asked where I got the white rocks. I honestly told him they had been his but they showed up here nearly a year ago and decided to live here. He fussed and fumed and I ignored him and said "Yes well, they free-range and can leave anytime they choose but as you can see they are happy here." He wanted to get out and catch them and I would not allow it. He babbled about how he could not understand why they came here yada yada and I asked him if it was possible they came here because I FEED my birds and have a safe coop for them to sleep in...maybe? So he left...until today. I am enjoying a nice telephone conversation with Speckledhen when the Goblin-Gnome pulls into my driveway. I ended out conversation and approached the 4' nothing person and asked what I could do for him when I was unjusty accused of stealing his Guineas just like I did his white rocks. *rolls eyes* I told him the Guineas had been hanging out in my horse pasture during the day and I only saw one a day or so ago but none today. He refused to believe me bringing up the white rocks again and said he thought I was hiding them and he wanted permission to look around. My coop doors were open as I was sanding and oiling roosts just before my call with Speckledhen. So, I let him look in my coop. I would not let him go inside (biosecurity measures and also my fear that he might have a disease he could give my birds *smirk*). Goblin-Gnome is looking inside my main coop when he says "Uh wow you have stairs for em and all" and turning to look at the door he said "Ya got locks on yer doors too, what for?" I politely said that after having a show pair of silkies stolen, my coop is always locked, by key and that I also had motion sensored lights to which he asked "what fer?" I said "So if something comes around the coop or inside it, the light comes on and my roosters attack". At that very moment one of the girls startling cackling madly behind the coop and as we turned to walk away from the coop I made some hand gesture (do not recall exactly what) and both of my big Orp roosters came running towards us, with intent. Heads down, wattles flying they ran right towards us and I immediately yelled "Lancelot, Hector NO Stop Get Back!" Both boys slowed and sort of looked at me as if to say "Mom wassup, why you yelling?" I said "Go on boys Go" and pointed away from me then they both just walked on off. Goblin-Gnome's eyes were bugging out and he exclaimed "Howd ya teach them that?" I said "My chickens are smart!" The Goblin-Gnome thought I had ordered the boys to attack him with my hand gesture and that they had obeyed. hahahahaha So, he got back in his truck and went home onvinced I stole his guinea and had my roosters trained to attack. Now, just to give you an idea of why this would scare a 4 foot nothing Goblin-Gnome...here are my boys: Lancelot - Blue Orpington, age 2 years and skilled in predator combat already Hector - Orpington X, Age 11 months, in training under Lancelot as backup rooster Chapter 2 A Pitcher and a d'Anver Recently I acquired a d'Anver rooster from Speckledhen because he loved me more. So much so he was nicknamed My Little Love, his name is Rufus and he is my little man. I had been told that he really hated plastic pitchers. Speckledhen said he would attack the pitcher everytime she carried it into his coop. Today, after the visit from the Goblin-Gnome, I wanted to get the coops ready for the night and day because we had horrid storms moving in. It was already windy and dark skies outside so I would have to get everyone in early if the storm caught us. So, I started with my big boys and girls pen, Pen #2 in the main coop. I was topping the 5 gallon waterer in Pen 2 for the big girls and boys and had a pitcher (gallon and a half or so wide mouthed pitcher) and went strolling by the crate where Rufus and his girls sleep (Pen #1 of main coop) and Rufus must have hit the door at the pitcher and the door opened. So he follows me and the evil pitcher into the next pen. I sat the pitcher down on a cinder block to open the 5 gallon waterer and Rufus began attacking the pitcher. I chuckled and poured the water into the waterer and sat the pitcher back down to put the top on the waterer. Well Rufus must have attacked the pitcher again, which was now empty, and it came down on top of him trapping all of My Little Love except his tail. So as I reached for the pitcher to save him, he jumped up and took the pitcher with him and came back down with the pitcher still trapping him. So I decided to let him and the pitcher fight it out while I finished securing the top on the waterer. Well a fight between Rufus and the pitcher insued....the Pitcher won! Rufus was raising all sorts of Holy Hello with that pitcher and the pitcher would not release him not to mention it had the audacity to deposit all remaining droplets of water it held ontp the head and back of My Little Love. Well can you imagine how ticked off he was when I rescued him from that pitcher? Well he was POd BIGTIME. But he looks at the evil pitcher in an entirely new light now seeing as it whopped him good and held him down. Sorry but there were no pictures taken during this atrocity but Rufus did put up a good fight but that pitcher is a mean ole thing! This is My Little Love aka Rufus: Rufus, Belgian d'Anver, age 1 year Chapter 3 A Possum Upsets The Afternoon So the day progresses and the skies get nastier so I remove my shoes and go inside for a few minutes leaving everyone scratching around casually, Hector sunbathing with Chewy and Lancelot around the house with a few girls looking for good worms; when all Hello breaks loose outside. My younger rooster, Hector is screaming and I mean screaming. Girls are running for the coop like their tails are on fire and I hear Lancelotalarming around the corner so I run outside and around the my small pond and am met by Lancelot who runs past me. I look over and Hector is standing in a stare down with a young possum who is head down hissing and baring his teeth and Lancelot is charging them. Before I could get to Hector and the possum, Lancelot hit the possum with all of his 13+ pounds and he and possum going rolling down the hill into the backyard. There is mad hissing, rooster growling, Hector alarming and running for the girls and me screaming for my husband who was in our barn. Lancelot has a predator history here. He has taken on a fox, the cat, several dogs and stood tall facing a charging coyote so this little possum was in no way getting away from him without injury or death unless Lancelot was injured in the process. So, I am running down the backyard hill when my husband gets to the top of the hill and says "Honey kill it" and he throws his blacksmithing hammer at me, well in my direction. I had a few choice words to yell at him for throwing a hammer at me but I grabbed it and ran over to the fighting rooster and possum. Lancelot was viciously attacking this little possum and shaking it and I started hitting it in the head with the hammer until it stopped moving. Actually, I may have hit it more times than it took to kill it but I was making sure it was dead. I left Lancelot still attacking it and went up the hill to confront my husband for throwing a hammer at me and to check on Hector and the girls. Hector was standing in the coop door and all of the girls were in the coop behind him. He was doing exactly what I have him here to do...protecting my hens. Gotta love him and his inexperience with predators could have been far worse had it been a real threat but this possum was too young and stupid to get away with one of the birds. So now Hector has experience and has witnessed his commander in chief, Lancelot, kick butt and I am sure Hector will use this new found knowledge should the need arise again. Afterall, he has Lancelot training him and Lancelot stands still for no predator. The End! For today anyway!