I have a long history with chickens. Back in the 9th grade, we watched eggs hatch in our biology class, and when the babies finally pecked their way out of the shells, our teacher's first words were, "Okay, who's going to take home a chicken?" My hand shot into the air, and before the week was over, I was a chicken owner. Initially, the chicken lived under a heat lamp in an aquarium in the garage, my bid to house her in my room having failed. Then she moved outside to our suburban backyard where she resided in a hutch that my father had built. She was not everything a chicken owner had hoped for; mainly, she did not lay eggs and she was less than charming in her relations with human beings.
Still, I persisted in a fondness for my nervous, who-can-I-peck-now 9th Grade Biology Hen. With her white cloud of feathers, she was quite beautiful, and one couldn't deny that she took real pleasure in her food. But when I went to camp that summer, the chicken left our backyard to go "live in the country." The particulars—who escorted her out of town, exactly where in Mississippi she went (D'Lo? Fannin? Hot Coffee?), and how she arrived at her decision to re-locate—have remained under wraps.
I'm hoping that, wherever she ended up, she revealed herself in all her glorious Chickenhood to a children's book author because chickens are children's book stars if you haven't noticed. There is really nothing like a good ditzy chicken story, and some of my favorites are the Minerva Louise books. Do check some out of the library if you are unfamiliar with Janet Morgan Stoeke's oeuvre. I guarantee laughs. There's even a new one, Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what she is up to. And, if I do say so myself, Minerva Louise bears a strong resemblance to my old pal.