Boots and Echo were crouched under the back deck, flicking their tails.
“Too big, way too big,” whispered Boots.
“Oh, I don’t know,” returned Echo, “I think we could take it.”
Boots shook his head and rolled his eyes…Echo’s confidence was going to get her in trouble.
The hawk, Keira, perched regally on the edge of the chicken coop and watched while the chickens squawked and ran around like their heads had been cut off. She looked intently at the chicken wire covered pen, trying to determine how she could get in and grab a tasty meal.
The cats heard the deck door slide open and Lissa yell at the hawk.
“Shoo! Shoo!” she shouted, flailing her arms around and getting pancake batter all over the deck, the cats and herself.
Once the hawk flew off, Lissa called out, “Boots! Echo!”
The cats looked at each other and ambled up the deck steps.
They reached the door and sat, patiently waiting for Lissa to speak.
Boots looked at Echo. Echo looked at Boots.
“Er…what?” asked Echo.
“What are you going to do about the hawk?”
“Well, first I think we should–” Echo began excitedly.
“Now wait just a minute,” interrupted Boots, licking a paw. “When we signed on to this gig, mice and small birds were the only pests we agreed to hunt.”
Lissa fairly spluttered. “The mice took on any job I asked of them!!!”
“We aren’t the mice,” said Boots stretching his front paws.
It was true. Lissa had a hold on the mice. They were dependent on her kindness or they would starve, be in danger and have to move on.
The cats, however, could fend for themselves if they needed to. Sure there were predators that could harm them, but they were quick and smart.
In other words, she had no power in this relationship.
“Fine,” she said and stomped back into the house.
As the siblings headed to the back garden to get some breakfast, Echo asked, “Well now what did you do that for? We have it pretty good here don’t we? We sleep in the garage and have an endless supply of mice. And, we can come and go as we please.”
Boots looked at Echo and smiled his cheshire smile. “You aren’t thinking big picture, Echo. We have all of the power here and we want to hold onto it.”
Echo looked at Boots with a confused expression.
“We’ve told her we don’t have to get rid of the hawk,” began Boots speaking slowly as if speaking to a small kitten. “Now we will take care of it and she will be eternally grateful. It’s a win-win situation where we come out on top.”
A slow smile formed on Echo’s face. “Wow, you are so sneaky Boots.”
So the cats spent the morning hunting voles and coming up with a plan to get rid of the hawk.