by Meredith Chilson
It takes a long time to write a good story. Sometimes years.
Besides the basics of plot, character and setting, a proper story should have intrigue, romance, adventurous nail biting moments, a bit of tragedy…and a happy ending.
I have just such a story for you. Well, minus the romance, but including a lot of love.
A young chicken with the pompous sounding last name Buff Orpington met a handsome rooster named Gregory Peck. They spent happy summer days digging up tasty tidbits, chasing after bugs, and sun bathing in dusty holes. Summer turned to winter, and as spring came again, Gregory moved on to live on a large farm and our heroine (now called Mrs. Feathers) settled into the matronly duty of laying and setting on eggs. Soon after Gregory left, three fuzzy peeps were following Mrs. Feathers cheerfully around the henyard.
The following summer, Mrs. Feathers again sat on her nest of eggs waiting for babies to hatch. It didn’t matter to Mrs. Feathers that there was no rooster in the flock. Babies come from eggs, and that’s what she waited…and waited…and waited for. After her hen keeper tried many tricks to dissuade her from sitting on the nest, a neighbor (who did have a rooster in his coop) donated an egg to Mrs. Feathers, and she became a mother once more! You can read the story of Jimmy and Mrs.
That was two summers ago. Last summer, after waiting and waiting—finally having eggs provided again—there were no chicks for Mrs. Feathers (read the story HERE and HERE). It was a time of sadness and reflection. Sigh.
July, 2013. Mrs. Feathers fluffs her feathers and gets ready to settle in on a nest.
Two visiting children tell their grandmother, the hen keeper, how much fun they had during the school year when their first grade classrooms hatched chicks. They knew all about how air sacs are important to the development of little chicks, and that it takes 21 days for a chick to develop in the shell. These youngsters even noticed a sign at the end of the valley road advertising “Hatching Eggs For Sale” and convinced their grandmother it would be a nice thing for Mrs. Feathers to have one more family. Soon, Mrs. Feathers is settled on 5 chocolate brown Copper Maran eggs purchased from the lady at the end of the road. August 9th is circled on the calendar as hatching day.
The grandchildren go home, and the grandparents take an overnight trip, leaving well meaning neighbors in charge of the chicken house….as a surprise all (ALL!!) the eggs in the hen house are gathered up and cooling in the refrigerator when the trip is over.
Ah, poor little Mrs. Feathers. Still sitting on an empty nest….
But wait…are there more eggs in the coop at the end of the road? …will Mrs. Feathers stay on a nest for three more weeks? …SHOULD Mrs. Feathers stay on a nest for three more weeks-she’s very frail…
A decision is made: Mrs. Feathers is moved to the attached garage at The Big House. She is given her own box of shavings, water, tasty treats, and 5 more Copper Maran eggs.
She settles in and waits. Her comb is so pale it is almost white. She’s thin and light as a…well, you know. She waits. And waits …
Oh, happy ending!