A SMALL PREVIEW

a-woodcutter-at-work-in-the-forest

Here is part of Chapter 10: WATERLOO from SHELBY F. SQUIRREL and the GREAT FOREST CAPER:

When the driver and passengers alighted and dug out large chain saws from the truck beds, Petra F. Squirrel waved frantically at Rosie Robin, who took off in a flurry of feathers. Howard Owl was on duty too, and also flew quickly away. The men began to enter the forest, noisily pushing through the dense undergrowth. 
Almost as if on cue, three saws were started up. With their motors burbling and belching fumes they soon had half a dozen small trees felled, and the men systematically moved forward. 
Suddenly the leader roared and fell straight backward, the saw kicking and bucking in his hands. And there stood Billy Goat, pawing the ground like an enraged bull. He charged again and knocked the second man flying. 
The third one started retreating hastily, and suddenly dropped the saw, which stalled as it hit the ground, and started waving his arms like a crazed windmill. An owl flapped wildly past his face, crying a spooky “Hoooo” is it went. In its wake criss-crossed Shelby and Petra. 
The first two men had scrambled to their feet and turned to run, only to face Sultan and both adult swans in a frenzy of flapping wings, hissing, and crowing. That’s when Molly and Polly Raccoon paraded through, looking exactly like inebriated sailors who hadn’t gain their land legs after being at sea. As the men tried to pick up the saws, Rosie and half a dozen other robins dive-bombed them from every direction. 
Shelby had stopped for a quick turn-around when he saw the cameras and announcers circling the scene with rapid-fire commentary, and wide lens coverage of everything that was going on. 
Charlie, the old farm horse, had also arrived and issued a whinny that sent chills up Shelby’s spine, while he raised his front legs high off the ground, snorting, and wild-eyed. Then Billy Goat charged through again, followed by both Nanny and Capra, his companions. The men were frozen to the spot stupefied. Then all three lurched into fantastic dance moves, jiggling one leg, then the other. The field mice escaped in every direction but their sharp teeth had left patterns on the hairy legs under those denim pants. 
All three men were screaming like banshees by then, and running panic-stricken for their trucks. The saws were abandoned on the ground, mercifully stalled so they weren’t a danger to anyone. 
And every second was being recorded right before their eyes! It hit Shelby like a shock-wave when he realized that a couple of the cameras were now concentrating on the upper branches, where all the rest of the flying squirrels sat scrunched anxiously together. Molly and Polly Raccoon had climbed up now after their performance of Rabies symptoms, their parents Ringtail and Lottie had arrived too, and all four were focused on the action below. 
In the next tree a whole row of owls had perched like courtiers viewing royal jesters. 
That’s when the whole family of skunks paraded into the clearing, tails high. 
The news people stood their ground, getting several minutes on film, then turned as one body, tripping over each other, bumping into tree trunks, but realised when nothing happened that it was all a show. The skunks knew who was on their side, and calmly kept walking, now being filmed again, toward the trucks by the road side. 
The three men hadn’t recovered their wits enough to drive off, and were sitting with heaving chests in the cabs. Now seeing the skunks appear they seemed to come alive as if someone had thrown a switch. The engines screeched to life, tires squealed, and gravel flew as the hapless fellows made their escape. 
Shelby caught the satisfied look of the adult skunks, and realised how cleverly they had planned that entrance. It just made the whole melee complete, like the icing on a birthday cake.
The animals had faced their potential Waterloo and together they watched in triumph as the enemy troops departed in defeat .

 
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