by Cici Grove
a drink of water please
One day after a fine spring rain, Henny-Penny stepped through the cool mud with the other chickens making her way to a nice large puddle. When she got there, she could not help but catch a glimpse of herself in the water’s reflection. “Oh my!” declared a startled Henny, “my thighs are falling!”
This set off quite a commotion of clucks and chatter among the fowl. Many looked her way as if to gauge the truthfulness of it. It was true that Henny was getting older and at the age of 7, was laying less eggs. She was looking towards retirement.
Henny felt the need to spread the word across the farmyard about her impending retirement, because Henny knew that routine and predictability were important to the others who inhabited Sweet Acre Farm. Being a thoughtful chicken, she didn’t want to cause more confusion than was typical.
First, she found Cocky-Locky and told him, “Cocky, I will be retiring soon, and well, also, my thighs are falling.”
“Cock-a-doodle-doo!,” replied Cocky, “Not me. I have an important job to do, and besides, I look better than ever!” and it was so, as much as Henny hated to admit it. Cocky’s feathers were brilliant and that red comb, --a real eye catcher.
“See you around,” said Henny soberly, and she set out to find Ducky-Lucky. Surely Ducky will be more supportive, thought Henny.
Henny found Ducky in the brooder on a pile of hay. “Hi Ducky,” Henny began, “I just want to let you know that I will be retiring soon, and besides, my thighs are falling, ”
“Sorry to hear that,” said Ducky. “I am a lucky one, hence the name, I feel as spry as ever, and I’d come along with you to tell the others but I must remain sitting here on my clutch of 15 eggs.”
“That’s okay,” said Henny who suddenly didn’t want Ducky to come along. “See you around.”
Across the grassy field was Goosey-Loosey with her rowdy gaggle, and trying not to feel intimidated, Henny headed towards them. Henny’s voice was almost inaudible. “I just want you to know, I will be retiring,” she whispered to Goosey, and then, “my thighs are falling.”
“Oh My!” cried Goosey too loudly, “retiring?! Thighs falling?! I am still in my prime, as we geese live twice as long as chickens.”
“You can pass along the news to the others,” said Henny, “if they haven’t yet heard.”
“Righty oh!” declared Goosey, “HONK!”
As Henny wandered away, the spring in her step a distant memory, she overheard one of the geese say, “her backside is dropping too.”
On hearing this, Henny went at once back to the puddle, to see if what that goose said was true. At the edge of the water, Henny turned away then craned her neck round to see... and… yes, yes, it was true.
Well, times have changed, thought Henny and she tried not to let her hopes for the future plummet. I just need a little self care, is all.
Henny took for herself, a refreshing drink of water, and went towards the henhouse, to roost comfortably, under the eaves.
About the author
She lives in a tiny house down the road from a farm field with her husband and oversized dog.