“At least the opossums didn’t respond,” Zack said.
“That we know of,” Jinx said. “They may be in the back lines where we can’t see them now.”
Kato Q , Rain, and Goofus flew to the rooftop, joining Jeff, Zack, and Jinx. “They’ve broken the yarn bird perimeter, sirs,” Kato Q said. “There are reports of squirrel and raccoon skirmishes on the outskirts, just beyond the fields. The Keets defenses are holding.”
“The girls and baby birds are secure in the castle too, sirs,” Goofus said.
“Well done,” Jinx said, surveying the land. The Parakeet Commandos stood ready, most in the field below them. Some mounted on turtle and bearded dragon backs, others ready to march on foot. Along the wall of the castle, squadrons of Keets stood at the ready next to the catapults, awaiting launch orders from Jeff. “Is the ammunition ready?”
Killer flew up carrying a cloth wrapped around silver soup cans and laying them at Jinx’s feet. “That’s the last of the cans of whoop up, Commander Jinx.”
Zack tapped on his tablet to open his communication app. “Perimeter report.”
“Front line ready,” Beaker reported from his bearded dragon mount on the front line.
“Firing squad ready,” Benny reported from the center catapult command.
“Outer perimeter guard ready,” Georgie Boy reported from the castle entrance.
“Inner perimeter guard ready,” Chloe reported from inside the castle.
“Aerial defenses ready,” Killer said, taking position next to Jinx and Jeff.
“They’re here,” Jeff said. Zack and Jinx saw the front lines of the enemy army approach the front lines of the Keet Commandos. A raccoon stepped forward, and Beaker rode to meet him. Jeff watched as they spoke a minute. The raccoon snarled, foam escaping the corners of his mouth. Beaker charged the raccoon, knocking him over. He turned to the Keet Commandos. “For Anipal Land!” he shouted, his voice ringing through the clear air. The front lines met the enemy army head on. Squirrels and raccoons flew aside and flipped through the air as the Keet Commandos charged through their ranks. Small but mighty, the Keets were a force to be reckoned with. Their turtle and bearded dragon mounts, tripping and throwing enemy troops around the field.
“Goodness, they are well trained!” Zack said. “Look at how strong those parakeets are!”
“I only have the best in my army,” Jinx said.
“They’re holding the line,” Jeff said, “but there’s another line coming after. Let’s lend them a hand. Catapult!” he shouted.
Keets immediately loaded in the catapults. Goofus, Rain and Kato Q ran up the line, releasing each catapult. The parakeets flew through the air gracefully before picking just the right moment to spread their wings and drop the can of whoop up from their feet. The cans exploded as they hit the ground, blasting confetti in the faces of the squirrels and raccoons with forces of pressurized air. Some released hot air that singed hands, while others blasted cold air that froze muzzles. The second line scattered in confusion as the first line continued to flip and fly through the air at the strength of the Keet charge.
“They’re still holding!” Jeff said.
Then a horn blew through the air. Everything went still and silent as troops on both sides turned to see the Queen of Bavaria’s rising on raccoon mounts. They were surrounded by a vast opossum guard, equipped with hard hides and sunglasses to protect their nocturnal eyes from the bright sunshine of Anipal Land. “Behold, darkness rises!” the lead Queen of Bavaria shouted.
“I don’t think so,” Zack said, grabbing a cloth sack in his foot and lining up to perch with Jinx and Killer, who also held cloth sacks in foot. “Jeff, give us the mark.”
Jeff waited until the Queen of Bavaria’s started their march. “Launch aerial attack!” he shouted.
Zack, Jinx, and Killer jumped from the roof, spreading their graceful wings and gliding over the battle resuming before them. Keets sailed past them from the catapaults, clearing a path to the Queen of Bavaria mounts. The ground Keets marched on the opossums, throwing unblown cans of whoop up in their faces and breaking their sunglasses. Turtles and bearded dragons ganged up on the opossums, throwing them aside as the Keets continued their relentless march through the outer ranks. Zack, Jinx, and Killer released their sacks as they lined up over the Queen of Bavaria mounts. Potato cakes and cans of whoop up exploded on them, splattering the Queen’s with potato muck and throwing them off their mounts.
“That’s for throwing our good will offering at Marlin and Sweet Pea!” Zack shouted.
The Queen of Bavaria’s raised balled up feet toward Zack, shouting as bits of potato matted dirt in their feathers.
“Reverse course!” Killer shouted. “Take prisoners!”
Zack, Jinx, and Killer gracefully wheeled around to pass over the Queen of Bavarias, swooping down to scoop up their three leaders in their feet.
“Put me down!” the one in Jinx’s feet shouted, nipping at his toes.
“Ok,” Jinx said, swooping high and then releasing the Queen of Bavaria from his grip. She tried to fly, but her potato splattered wings stuck shut. She screamed. Jinx swooped down and caught her. “Need a lift?”
“Smart alec,” she grumbled.
Jinx laughed as they landed on the castle roof next to Jeff Musk. “We got their leaders.”
Jeff offered the Queen of Bavaria’s his binoculars. “It’s your call. Do you really want to continue this pointless battle?”
The Queen of Bavaria’s looked over their troops, still struggling to stay on their feet against the relentless charge of the Keets, turtles, and bearded dragons. They hung their heads. “No need for binoculars, sir. I can see just fine. We surrender.”
“They surrender!” Jeff Musk shouted from the rooftop. “Peace!”
The Keets cheered.