© copyright 2008 

     “Breakfast time, Sugarplum.” The Roc yanked Val from the coop, locking the door quickly before hauling her off to the fire pit. 
     While it was tying her to a large spit, Buzz struggled to snip through the remaining wire tying the slats together—and in his haste, dropped the shears. “Faahh!” This time there was no one to catch them before they tumbled out the coop, and beyond reach on the ground. Buzz shot a glance over to the fire pit. With Val trussed up snug and tight, the Roc scraped his steel talons across the limestone, then beamed as sparks ignited the cook fire. Completely at wits end, Buz didn't know what to do next, not until Val looked back at him, grinning confidently even as the flames lapped ever closer. Fah! She’s counting on me, he thought, then gave the slats a good swift kick.
     “Keep smiling, Sugarplum ... until you're nice and crispy—WHAT!” The Roc's jeers were cut short by a jarring wood-shattering noise.

     By the time it twisted around and spied the empty coop, Buzz was on top of the creature, wielding the pruning shears—Snip! Snap!  Before the giant bird could ward off the cuts, the tenacious buzzard had sheared off nearly all the tail feathers, and left it stunned by the brazen attack. 
     Buzz was attempting to free Val when the Roc finally retaliated. Her scream was all that kept Buzz from losing his head in one fell bite. The shears slipped into the fire as he scrambled out of reach before the jaws clamped shut again. The Roc continued to strike without letup. Each time Buzz managed to slip away, barely. He couldn't possibly duck and dodge such a fierce assault much longer. 
     Pausing for a gulp of air, Buzz was heartened to see the Roc flailing its wings in a vain attempt to fly without tail feathers. On the ground, his talons were useless as weapons. 
     “Now YOU know how it feels!” chirped Buzz. In a bold move, it was he that took to the air attempting to assault the Roc from above. It was a noble maneuver, but one destined to fail. It took only one punishing swipe of the Roc's broad wing to knock Buzz out of the sky, and out cold, sprawled upon the ground like breakfast waiting to be served.