It was almost the Fourth of July and the boys had big firecrackers they were blowing off. Let's stick one up a chicken's ass! said one of the boys.
They did this terrible thing and blew the bottom out of a chicken. It hobbled away bleeding. It hid under the corncrib, and died there.
The same night they decided to tie a firecracker to the leg of a sparrow, light the fuse, and let the sparrow fly away. As it flew sparkling into the night, they pointed sticks at it and BANG! they yelled when the sparrow blew up in the night sky. As if the sticks were guns and the sparrow was an airplane they had shot.
A few days later at the Fourth of July celebration the boys laughed when the crowd sang The Star-Spangled Banner at the line Bombs bursting in air. This was during a time of war and the boys could not feel bad about the chicken and sparrow, especially now when everyone's spirits were up while they were singing together.