Part 3 (finis) - Lessons 15-21 that I wrote to teach my youngest son to read. Lessons 8-14, and 1-7 in two earlier posts.
15 - The hawk decided and plunged down to get his dinner. The wind whistled in his ears as he fell faster and faster. He turned his wings to catch the breeze and curve down on the chicken he had chosen. He could almost taste it. He was ready for the crash of claws and feathers and chicken when he snatched her. Suddenly the hawk spread his wings in panic and pulled up and away. He had almost flown right into the web of tight clear lines the farmer had stretched back and forth over the chicken yard. He would have broken his wings.
16 - The farmer had watched the chicken hawk, with his hands in his pockets. He had strung up the clear fishing line back and forth over the chicken yard earlier that week. He knew the red tailed hawks had come back for the spring, hungry from their long trip. He wove the fishing line back and forth in all directions, so there was no place large enough for a hawk to fly though. He hoped it would keep his chickens safe. He had seen wires over a pond at a zoo, to keep king fishers from diving to get the fish. He liked the idea.
17 - When the hawk dove to get a chicken the farmer had held his breath. Would it work? Would the hawk see the lines before it crashed, or would it get hurt? The farmer was a gentle man, and he did not want the hawk to get hurt. He liked seeing the hawks in the sky, and he knew they ate rats and mice that might eat his corn. He thought of the whole thing as a game, like the pig and pie game. He hoped he would win, but he wanted the hawk to… The hawk screamed and swooped upward just before hitting the lines. It flew in angry circles, screaming, and then flew away. The farmer smiled.
18 - The fox in the hedge watched the hawk lose the game with the farmer and smiled, too. He had also been playing a game with the farmer about chickens. The fox had won a few times, but mostly the farmer had won. He was a quiet man who thought carefully about things and got smart ideas to trick the fox. The last trick had been to put wires around the chicken yard. When the fox touched the wires it set off a loud alarm and flashing lights. The fox had been so scared he ran the wrong way at first - right towards the farmhouse. He grinned when he thought about it now.
19 - The pig knew the fox was in the hedge. The pig knew where everyone was all the time, except the farm wife. Somehow the farm wife was always where the pig did not expect her to be. She surprised the pig a lot. She often had that broom. The pig weighed more than 1000 pounds, and the farm wife weighed only about 100, so she needed the broom to handle the pig. Besides, the farm wife wasn’t going to get her hands muddy pushing the pig. The broom was the best thing.
20 - The farm wife looked out the window from the cool shadows of the kitchen. The breeze brought the smell of the cooling pie into the kitchen and she smiled. It was good to cook for people who knew how good her food was, even if one was a pig. And the game with the pig was fun. Most of the farm wife’s day was full of work, and she liked the little fun things that happened with the animals. She fed chipmunks in the wall of the barn, calling the cat lazy for not catching them. She liked to run at the chickens sometimes, scattering them all over the yard just for fun.
21 - The farmer looked over his yard and thought about the chickens. He liked to see his wife enjoy herself, even if she did it by scaring the big stupid birds. They were calming down from the hawk, and going back to pecking and scratching in the yard. The pig finished her slops and turned to go back to the mud. The farmer watched her huge body move away on little pink hooves, big triangle ears flapping flies off. He saw her lay down again and watched as her breathing got slower, and she started to gently snore. He knew she was dreaming of apple pie.