Fleegle wakes me up by licking my face. Light streams through the bedroom blinds, but not sunlight, but spacecraft propulsion light.
“I think our visitors are back,” Fleegle says. “You better start breaking cookies in two.”
I groan. “Couldn’t they visit during daylight hours, or at least call ahead.”
“At least they brought their ship and won’t need another lift in ours. They smelled funny and stunk up the car.”
“They did, didn’t they? Must be from eating too many Space Food Sticks.”
“You mean they eat sticks like my Labrador friend Hunter? No wonder they think half a cookie is a full cookie.”
The two of us get up, go to the kitchen and take a look out the patio slider. The saucer sits on the lawn, but it looks different somehow. “Is that the same ship?” I ask.
Fleegle tilts his head to the side. “It looks smaller.”
We spot the occupants in the illuminated dome on top of the saucer. Instead of the two dogs are a half dozen chickens bobbing about. A ramp on the underside of the ship lowers and out march in two by two formation, six fat little chickens followed by an even fatter rooster. They pause to take in their surroundings, then jack boot across the lawn toward us. The representatives from the evil chicken planet have arrived.
I open the patio door and we step outside to greet them. They stop a few feet away, the chickens taking flanking positions around the rooster, and wait in silence, as if expecting something from us.
“Um…” Fleegle says. “Maybe we should offer them some Chickie Puffs and let George handle this.”
“Good idea,” I say.
When Fleegle turns to get George from the chicken room, one of the chicken guests squawks out, “Halt. Bow before the master race.” For a little hen, her voice is quite authoritative, but for some reason the Colonel pops in my mind, not the one in the old TV adds, but the life-size plastic one they used to have in the KFCs just as you walked in.
“Are those sticks they’re holding?” Fleegle asks.
I now notice the small white wands the chickens are pointing at us.
Fleegle looks at them with a puzzled expression. “Wizard chickens? George might be too working class for this lot.”
I recall the phone conversation with the Mufon guy and his question about paralysis wands. “Don’t let them touch you with those sticks. They might be paralysis wands and if they touch you you won’t be able to move.”
Fleegle snorts at the air, as if trouble is about. “Raud, we should go back inside and shut the door.”
The rooster takes a step forward and cackles, “On your knees, inferior species of Earth scum, submit to the chicken race.” His eyes are big and black and look like they might explode if he gets any angrier.
Fleegle lets out a howl, something he rarely does, then says, “We need to go inside.”
“I think you’re right. What did you just do?” I ask as we dart through the sliding door and close it behind us.
The chickens approach with their wands raised high and start pecking at the glass, and before Fleegle can answer that he smelled Timber Jack and his girlfriend nearby, there’s a flurry of motion on the patio, feathers and fur flying everywhere, and one lone chicken makes it back to the saucer while Timber Jack and his date carry the rest off.
“Maybe there is an evil chicken planet,” Fleegle says.
“Could be,” I say as I spot the two coyote puppies running up the ramp of the spaceship as it rises and closes. The propulsion lights flick on and the ship lifts off the grass, but instead of the chicken looking out from the controls, two surprised puppies gaze back at us as the ship disappears amongst the stars. “But that evil chicken planet might soon have a coyote problem.”
Fleegle wags his tail. “Hey, if puppies get to fly that ship, I should be allowed to drive ours.”