Wild Winter

Part II

The Snowball Fight

Later that day, the mole kids were having great fun playing in the snow, and they decided to build a snowman. It didn’t take long for their neighbors, the weasels, to notice. Wilde and Wilder were in a mischievous mood again. The moles and their snowman looked like great targets.

Wilder looked at Wilde, and they grinned.

“Let’s do it,” said Wilde.

The first barrage of snowballs caught the moles by surprise. The weasels had a lot of practice hurling nuts and were quite accurate with their snowball throws. The moles were sent tumbling. Thus began the Great Ballymore Snowball Fight of 1892.

The moles were no match for the weasels, but they tried. They did manage to land a few hits but got the worst of it by far. They were almost ready to surrender when a large snowball splattered on the back of Wilder’s head. It knocked off his beret. He wheeled around in surprise. Dr. Brigit and Morris Muskrat had come from the north in support of the moles. Now, it was a more even fight.

The moles cheered the much needed reinforcements. Now, the weasels concentrated their firepower on the newcomers and virtually ignored the moles. Brigit and Morris took advantage of the protection of a large tree and were much more difficult targets.

As Wilde and Wilder were battling the northern forces, more reinforcements arrived from the south. Robbie, Rachel and Rain Rabbit joined the moles, and now, the weasels were taking significant hits from two sides. It was a challenge, but they enjoyed challenges.

Wilde yelled, “Let’s use our divide and conquer strategy.”

That meant they would concentrate their snowballs on one of the ‘enemy’. They chose Dr. Brigit. Within a one minute period, she must have been hit ten times and was pummelled backward into the snow. As she got up to clean herself off, several more snowballs knocked her down again. With that, she gave up and retreated.

That was a significant loss for the amateur army, but she was quickly replaced by Birk and Birch Beaver. They were happy to join the battle next to Morris.

The weasels were now being driven backward towards their cottage.

“We could use some reinforcements ourselves,” said Wilder.

Wilde shook his head in agreement. Just then Finn Frog appeared. He broke through the “enemy” line of rabbits and moles and hopped over to support of his friends. Wilder welcomed him with a hug. Finn turned out to be a pretty good snowball thrower, and the battle line shifted back and forth.

The yelping and yapping from the fight could be heard all across Ballymore and attracted much attention. Several animals came to watch including the ducks and swans. They decided not to join in and sat a safe distance away on the pond. It soon became obvious that they favoured the amateur army against the professional weasels.

Bartholomew watched from a nearby tree and, not surprisingly, remained neutral.

The battle raged on. Fighters on both sides were getting tired when incoming air support decided the outcome. Coming over the pond in a straight line was the entire Bluebird family. Everyone saw them. Which side would they join?

They flew over the scene, circled and landed on the weasels’ roof. They immediately began making snowballs. Branna, Brie, and Britt each picked up a snowball and took off. Within seconds the snowballs found their targets — Wilde, Wilder, and Finn.

Now, the aggressors were being attacked from the north, the south, and from above. That demoralised them and encouraged the amateur army which then doubled its efforts.

It was obvious to all observers that the end was near. The decisive blow was struck by Branna Bluebird. She picked up a large snowball and decided upon a direct attack. She headed straight for the back of Finn’s head. He never saw it coming! The large snowball and she made a direct hit. Splat! Finn was knocked down and buried under the snow. Branna quickly fluttered back up to the roof to reload.

Finn was dazed as Wilder pulled him out of the snow and brushed him off. A new barrage from the rabbits knocked them both down again.

As he got up, Wilder yelled, “We need a new strategy!”

Wilde yelled back, “I think it’s time for a strategic withdrawal.”

The three animals backed towards the door of the cottage and scampered quickly through it to safety.

The Great Ballymore Snowball Fight of 1892 had come to an end. A resounding cheer went up from the amateur army and most of the audience. Everyone gathered in front of the weasels’ cottage and congratulated themselves. Then, even quicker than the army had formed, it scattered and disappeared.

As Robbie Rabbit was leaving, he yelled back at the cottage, “You’ve been weaselled!” <