BeakSpeak Book

Henrietta

“Hello, all my chicken fans out there. My name is Henrietta, and I’m not nearly as neurotic as my cousin, Henny Penny. For instance, Ii know the difference between an acorn and the sky falling.”

Henrietta leaned her wing against a big oak tree. “Problem is, no one in my family pays me any mind. They think chickens are stupid and, therefore, cannot not think for themselves. Well, I do.”

She pushed off of the tree and strolled across the large chicken yard, finger and thumb feathers cradling her beak. “I, for one, am choosy about my food. I’m a purest. I like scratch grain and alfalfa pellets. Guess that would make me a vegetarian, were I human. Don’t try to feed me those squishy grub worms, red worms or night crawlers. Even insects are squishy, and they are crunch, as well. Yuck.”

Henrietta stopped to peck at some cracked corn at her feet. “Anyway, I live on a farm in east Texas. We get a lot of rain out here, and have our share of fierce predators, so I hang out close to the coop.”

Suddenly, a hawk shrieked from above, and Henrietta headed for the hen house.

“See what I mean?” she asked. “Another thing different about me and Henny Penny is that my breed is Plymouth Rock. We are related to the Barred Rock like All-the-Same Jayne in BeakSpeak. Oh, yes, I read the book. How could I not? It’s ‘all the rage’ among us chickens. Anyway, the Plymouth Rock Breed comes from my daddy’s side of the family. I have stripes like Jane, though they are more subdued.”

She leaned out of the hen house and searched the sky for the hawk. She didn’t see it, so she cautiously stepped back out into the yard. “Yet another difference I have with Henny Penny is I don’t have a king to rule over me. We just have chicken owners around here that feed us and rob our eggs. Now and again we get shots in the crook of our elbows and medicine put in our water.”

Henrietta looked up in thought, then raised a finger feather. “Oh, yeah,” she remembered, “one thing we do have that Henny Penny has are foxes. Only I won’t let one near me, much less fool me.”

She sat on a small log. “We also have turkeys, geese and ducks in neighbors’ farms, like Henny Penny knew. I do know what those are. They make loud gobbling, honking and quacking noises. I’m glad my owner doesn’t have any of them.”

As Henrietta stood, her eyes suddenly lit up. “Wait! The owner is bringing dinner! Been nice talking to you. Let me know if you have any questions you want me to further discuss about chickens. Just don’t bother asking Henny Penny. She can’t tell an acorn from a rain drop.”

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