My youngest son is secretly a superhero. I used to think of him as being a ornery, teen version of Clark Kent with a video game obsession. He has worked hard to convince us that his only interests in life are pizza, 1st person shooters games, his cell phone and Mine Craft. Our neighborhood chickens know better. They have seen him transform.
Last night, at 3am, my son woke me up by pounding on my bedroom door.
“Mom! The neighbor’s chicken was attacked and is out of her coop.”
I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs with him. Aaron’s room was downstairs, just 15 feet from our coop. He has frequently complained about their noise when one of them lays an egg during the day. When he heard squawking at night and he knew that it required immediate action. He ran outside with a flashlight,
We share a chain link fence with our neighbors. Their coop and garden line runs the length of this fence. Aaron saw a possum menacing a struggling chicken pressed against the wall of their raised bed. He yelled to draw the possum’s attention.
He ran back to our yard and grabbed some wind blown apples on the ground. He stood on the edge of our own raised garden beds and pelted the apples at the possum. Apparently, his eye-hand coordination, sharpened by years of video game practice, came in handy. The possum fled.
My neighbor’s chicken was weak and panicky. Aaron did not want to try to track her in the dark after he had left the scene to get help. He poked a stick through the holes in the fence to coax the anxious bird into a corner of the fenced area. Then he got me.
By the time I made my way into the yard, the situation was contained. I called my neighbor to get her bird. It took a lot of explaining; 3 a.m. is not the best time for problem solving.
She and her husband, through an understandable piece of miscommunication, had left this chicken out in the backyard away from the safety of the coop. She scooped up her bird and thanked us as she made her way back to the house to check for injuries.
Aaron and I went back to the house. I told him how impressed I was with his quick thinking. He waved it off in a typically surly, teenaged boy way. The excitement was over. He was working his way back into the snarky persona that young men his age pride themselves on developing.
I shook my head and headed for bed. He yawned and stretched. This was his signal that the conversation was done. I could not stop myself from throwing in one more comment.
“Good night, Aaron. I am proud of you.”
He rolled his eyes dramatically but before turning away, I saw the curl of a smile in the corner of his mouth. His superhero days were just getting started. Possums beware.