Once upon a time, just the other day, there lived a family of five just down the street. Some days Momma stayed home, and some days Daddy stayed home. Every day Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn, and Hunter Thomas stayed home. Nothing extravagant ever seemed to happen. In fact, every day seemed almost the same as the day before. When Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn and Hunter Thomas awoke, they would tip-toe out of their bedrooms, down the hall, and to the kitchen. Momma or Daddy would be there or on the nearby couch, reading or eating or doing something uninteresting like sorting mail.
On this particular day, Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn, and Hunter Thomas had been awake for several hours. Savannah Lynn and Ava Anne had already finished their school work for the day, and Hunter Thomas was just finishing his lunch.
“Let’s go out to the barn, Vannah!” Ava Anne said to Savannah Lynn.
They had already put their lunch plates in the sink and were ready to play outside. They quickly slid on their shoes and ran out the back door.
“I know, let’s look for wild berries,” Savannah Lynn suggested.
They never knew exactly where they might find wild berries, but at this time of year, they were sure to find a bush somewhere. Ava Anne and Savannah Lynn ran around the barn until they reached the old apple tree. Sometimes berries were hiding around the overgrown tree and weeds.
“Nothing,” Ava Anne concluded after a quick search of the weeds. “Let’s go to the other side of the barn.”
As they ran along the back side of the barn through Daddy’s old garden they heard a chicken clucking. They ran faster to see if the chickens had found their berries.
Ava Anne gasped. “Oh, no! She’s stuck!”
“Let’s go get Momma,” Savannah Lynn said.
They ran back to the house as fast as they could.
“Momma!” Ava Anne and Savannah Lynn shouted together.
“There’s a chicken stuck in a live-trap! You need to come get her out,” Ava Anne reported.
“She’s hurt!” added Savannah Lynn.
“Where?” Momma asked.
“By the barn,” Savannah Lynn and Ava Anne said in unison.
Momma had little difficulty releasing the chicken. But, when she picked her up they all realized she was missing two of her toes. Momma carried her back to the house and handed her to Savannah Lynn.
“Hold her while I get some gauze and ointment to clean her foot with,” Momma instructed.
Savannah Lynn rubbed her cheek gently on the chicken’s head and neck as she held it. Ava Anne looked worried. She was not so sure this chicken was going to be ok.
“Chicky, it’s going to be ok,” Savannah Lynn said. “I’ll take care of you. You can stay in my room.”
“Chicky?” asked Ava Anne.
“Yep, that’s her name now,” Savannah Lynn said.
Just then Momma returned with a bandage and ointment. She gently cleaned Chicky’s toeless foot, rubbed ointment on it, and wrapped it in gauze.
“I think she’ll be ok,” Momma said. “But, we’ll need to watch her extra carefully for a while.”
“Can she stay in my room?” Savannah Lynn asked. “I named her Chicky.”
“No,” Momma said with a smile, “Chicky will be ok in the chicken coop. Let’s give her some food and water before we take her back out there.”
Chicky was very thirsty. She finished all the water Momma gave her, and she took a few bites of food.
“This chicken will be just fine,” Momma said. “She is happy to eat and drink. I don’t think we have anything to worry about.”
“Chicky,” Savannah Lynn reminded Momma.
“That’s right,” Momma said, “Chicky.”