The approaching pirate ship never stood a chance. The spinach-enhanced chickens, fifty in all, launched themselves from the Crab Shack and circled above the ship, waiting for orders. Years later, Semolina, who had an excellent view of the chickens from the crow’s nest that day, would swear that they were some of the toughest-looking birds he had seen, then or ever. He wasn’t exactly sure, but Semolina thought that he saw some of the chickens actually flexing their muscles. “Now, me beauties!” cried Popeye from the deck below. He pointed to the pirate ship. “Shiver their timbers!” The chickens flew off in a mass of fluttering, clucking fury towards the unwary buccaneers. Their look-out was the first to spot the approaching attack. He lowered his spy glass and called for the captain to join him on the foredeck. Silently, he held out the spy glass to the captain, who took it and scanned the scene before him. “Do ye know what ship that be?” the captain demanded. He had always had trouble with seeing anything out of spy glasses, but he would never admit that to anyone, especially not to his eagle-eyed subordinate. “The name on the side says the Crab Shack.” “I ain’t never heerd of the Crab Shack. Be they one of ours?” “Not sure, Cap’n, but there’s something else.” He pointed to the dark mass moving toward them from the air. The captain directed the glass upward and tried to see what had caught the look-out’s attention. “Just birds,” he said finally, “gulls maybe.” The two continued to watch as the flock moved swiftly over the water toward them. “Cap’n,” the look-out spoke after a moment’s silence. “Should I be hearing clucking noises?” “Clucking?” “The gulls. I think they’re clucking.” “Don’t be daft!” said the captain. “Gulls don’t cluck!” The look-out reached for the spy glass and peered through it again. “Chickens cluck,” he murmured. “Aye, boy,” the captain said in exasperation. “Chickens cluck, cows go moo, pigs say oink…” “No sir. I mean those aren’t gulls coming our way. They’re chickens.” “That be ridiculous! Now why would…?” But there was no question now. The birds were much closer, they were definitely chickens, and they were coming at them at speeds no chicken should obtain. “Cap’n, what are your orders? Should we prepare for defense?” “Defense?” cried the captain. “Against chickens? What do ye suppose we do, arm the men with brooms?” Before the look-out could make a response, the first of the chickens arrived. They made a bee-line for the unfurled sails of the ship. With a fierce sound of ripping and squawking, the chickens managed to punch several holes in the canvas. The rest of the chickens followed suit, bombarding and virtually shredding the sails. “What manner of devil birds are these?!” the stunned captain managed to shout out, before the chickens swooped around for another attack. By now, the entire crew had clambered on deck to watch the melee. They soon began to run for cover when the chickens began a steady bombardment of eggs and poop all across the ship. The captain himself was pelted with a number of eggs, some of which he could have sworn were hard-boiled. When the aerial attack ended, the chickens landed on the deck and went after the pirates. Soon there were cries coming from around the ship: “Gettitoff! Getitoff me head!” “I’m surrounded!” “Arrr, she givin’ me the stink eye, she is!” “Blimey! This one’s got a knife!” While chaos ensued for the pirates, the Crab Shack had unobtrusively slipped alongside their ship and tossed over several grappling lines, securing the two vessels together. The captain, meanwhile, desperately fighting off three chickens at once with a belaying pin, was the first to spot his vanquishers. “Call ‘em off!” he yelled toward Asiago who was watching the carnage with horrified fascination. “Call off yer demon birds! We surrender!”
The Chick-Fil-A squadron was a thing of beauty. Professionally trained, the 200 battle chickens rose majestically into the air at Colonel Sander’s command, and flew in formation toward Jersey Mike’s men. Prince Carl’s army cheered as the birds passed silently overhead. The ranks of suited men intently watched the progress of the chickens until the bombardment began. For the first wave of the attack, each chicken carried a large rock in their spinach-strengthened claws. One chicken, who was presumably the squad leader, let out a loud “Buck-CAWW!” At that, the Chick-Fil-A dropped their payload upon the heads of the enemy. Although the attack was not a devastating one for the Jersey Mike army, many of the rocks did find their mark, leaving a number of men dazed or unconscious. While the remaining men shouted in anger and made rude gestures at them, the chickens circled around and came at them again. This time, their payload consisted of eggs and chicken droppings. “Arrggh! It’s in my eye!” cried one man, ripping off his poop-smeared sunglasses and wiping at his face. “Arrggh! I’m allergic to eggs!” cried another. “Arrggh! I just had this suit cleaned!” From his scabbard, Prince Carl drew out a large silver spatula and raised it high above his head. “For Hardeeshire!” he cried, “for Dryvethru!”He spurred his horse and galloped toward the disorganized ranks of the Jersey Mike army. With a roar, his army followed him into battle.
Reports of the ongoing battle filtered into Little Caesar’s headquarters all throughout the morning. Along with Jersey Mike and Long John Silver, he waited inside his lavishly furnished tent, alternately pleased and chagrined depending on the news. The opening gambit of battle chickens upon Jersey Mike’s men did not please him. “Honestly, Mike,” Little Caesar said, turning a grim face to his cohort, “I would have expected better of your men. They’re just chickens.” Jersey Mike, seated in a plush arm chair, just shrugged. “Hey, ya know, things happen. Whaddaya gunna do?” “Well,” Caesar said dryly while trying to hide his irritation, “you’re taking this all rather calmly considering what’s at stake for you.” “Don’t worry ‘bout it,” Mike said, waving a dismissive hand. “I got this.” “I would certainly hope so.” Little Caesar then turned to Long John Silver who was also seated, his feet propped up on a table. “And what about your men?” Caesar asked him. “Are they in position?” “Aye,” Silver growled. “I got men hiding in the woods on either side of Prince Carl’s flanks.” “Good…good,” Little Caesar nodded. “And with the waterways behind them bottled up with your ships, it’s, ah…” he turned to Jersey Mike, “…how would you put it, Mike?” “Badda-Boom!” “Yes,” smiled Little Caesar. “Badda-Boom. What a colorful little phrase.” As the three villains laughed, a scrawny pirate entered the tent, sketched a salute to Silver, handed him a note, and exited. Silver gave a low whistle as he read. “Scouts say that the Burger King and his army be ten miles north of here.” He looked up with some concern. “They be movin’ faster than we expected. We should be sendin’ my men in to finish off Prince Carl before the King gets here.” “All in good time,” said the diminutive Roman calmly. “I have a bit of a surprise for the Burger King that will keep him out of our hair for some time. But if, for some reason, the plan falls through, well then…” he walked to the back of the spacious tent and stood before a large purple curtain. He drew it back to reveal Baskin, Robin, Papa John, and Arby, bound and gagged on the floor. “You think the King’s gunna stop the war to save ‘em?” inquired Jersey Mike. “For them, no,” replied Little Caesar, smiling wickedly at his captors. “For that little red-head I’ve been hearing so much about, however…” At this, the prisoners went into a frenzy of squirming and muffled shouts. Caesar sneered at them and drew the curtain back over them. “If what I hear about her is true, it won’t be long before she impulsively attempts a rescue of her friends. The King will reconsider his position once he discovers that we have the girl.” “Ahhh…I like it,” grinned Jersey Mike, “that’s pretty sneaky stuff.” “Well…” said Little Caesar with all the false modesty he could muster, “…it’s what I do.” At this point, a large suited man, spattered with raw eggs, entered the tent. “Hey Boss.” “How you doin’?” Jersey Mike replied. “Eh, could be worse. We’re givin’ it to ‘em pretty good, but we’re still havin’ problems with them…chickens.” Little Caesar let out a laugh. “Chickens, really?” Jersey Mike growled as he rose from his seat. “You havin’ problems…with the chickens?” “Um, yeah,” replied the embarrassed messenger. “Tony wants to know if you gots any new orders.” “Yeah, I got a new order. ‘Don’t be stupid,’ that’s my order. Ya got that?” “Sure thing, Boss,” the man ducked his head, turned, and left the tent. A squawk and a soft SPLUT was heard, followed by the angry cursings of the messenger. “‘Don’t…be stupid,’” mused Little Caesar. “Simple and to the point. I like it.” “Hey, ya know,” said Jersey Mike, with lopsided grin, “it’s what I do.”