"Aaaaaaaugh!" A piercing chicken-scream sounded from outside the window. Staci and I stared at each other in alarm. "What was that?!" I ran to the glass door by the coop, switched on the light, and peered into the darkness.
My gaze was met by two glassy black eyes, a pointed, whisker-stabbed face, and a worm-like tail. Pointed teeth protruded from the edges of grey gums. "Hey!" I yelled at the opossum. "Get away from my chickens!" I clapped my hands, but he stood frozen in place, staring at me with what looked like defiance.
As I pried open the groaning glass door, he fled into the tall grass. My chickens were running around the coop, yelling at each other and at the place where the opossum had been lurking. A long stick, which I had carefully positioned as a roost through the gaps in the wire, was hanging out of the side.
Slipping on my flip-flops, I hurried toward the heat lamp. Then I heard a rustling in the darkness and gasped, shrinking back. "Staci!"
She was already outside, grabbing a huge white pole from against a pillar. She poked at the grass with it, testing it for snaggly-toothed inhabitants as I crept toward the power outlet and plugged in the lamp.
As the chickens settled into their favorite spot by the warmth, Aunt Marge gave me a disapproving look. "You almost got us eaten," her eyes told me.
"I know--I'm sorry."
"It'd better not happen again." She closed her eyes and fell asleep, disapproval still seeping from her pores.
A large red chicken sleeps on the roost, feathers fluffed against the cold. Snaggle-Tooth smells a delicious, feathery scent and creeps from the shadowed grass. He sees the snack, so plump and luscious. He stretches out his hand to grab it--but he is foiled by a hard, scratchy barrier. Suddenly, an idea strikes him. If I pull the stick, the chicken will come with it! Excited, Snaggle-Tooth grabs the stick in his mouth and yanks. The almost-snack screams and flies into the air, waking all the other feather-morsels. As the sneaky opossum realizes his mistake, a light appears, showing one of those crazy hairless monsters behind a clear wall. He stares in shock as the monster claps its hands, clearly enjoying the show. Then the wall begins to move with a horrible noise and he flees, vowing to return for his chicken feast another day.