Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter XXXV. Things Happen All at Once
The cleverest Fox is almost certain to visit the chicken yard once too often. Bowser the Hound.
Jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun, high in the blue, blue sky, looked down on as peaceful a scene as ever was. In the cowyard back of the barn of this particular farm stood several cows contentedly chewing their cuds as they took their daily airing. Half a dozen fat hens were walking about among them and scratching in the straw. Out in the farmyard in front of the barn were many more fat hens. Behind a pile of old boards just outside the cowyard was a spot of red. In the top of a tall tree not far distant was a spot of black. The smoke from the chimney of the farmhouse floated skyward in a lazy way. Looking down on the Great World, jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun saw no more peaceful scene anywhere.
By and by a fat hen walked over to the bars of the cowyard and hopped up on the lower bar. There she sat for some time. Then, making up her mind that she would see what was outside, she hopped down and walked over to the pile of old boards. Right then things happened all at once. That red spot behind the pile of old boards suddenly came to life. There was a quick spring, and that fat hen was seized by the neck so suddenly that she didn't have time to make a sound. At the same instant the black spot in the top of the tall tree came to life, and Blacky the Crow flew over to the roof of the barn, screaming at the top of his lungs. Now those who know Blacky well, know when he is screaming "Fox! Fox! Fox!" although it sounds as if he were saying "Caw! Caw! Caw!"
In a moment the door of the farmhouse flew open, and a man stepped out with a dog at his heels. The man looked up at Blacky, and he knew by Blacky's actions that something was going on back of the barn. Right away he guessed that there must be a Fox there, and calling the dog to follow, he ran around to see what was happening. Of course Reddy heard him coming, and with a little snarl of anger at Blacky the Crow, he seized the fat hen by the neck, threw her body over his shoulder, and started for the near-by swamp as fast as his legs could take him.
Just as Reddy reached the edge of the swamp, he heard the roar of a great voice behind him. He knew that voice. It was the voice of Bowser the Hound. It could be no one else but Bowser who was behind him, for there was no other voice quite like his. Dismay awoke in Reddy's heart. He knew that Bowser was wise to the tricks of Foxes, and that he would have to use all his cunning to get rid of Bowser. To do it he would have to drop that fat hen he had come so far to get. Do you wonder that Reddy was dismayed?