A Short Story for Kids and Seniors by Ruby Bonham
The little Silkie chicken squirmed on her nest. That one big egg was about to wear a blister on her bottom side and she was sure she was getting a cramp in her leg. All of her eggs were Silkie size except one and it was Huge. She sighed and wriggled a little more, finally getting almost comfortable. She would sure be glad when those eggs hatched.
Something moved under her and she peeked cautiously underneath. “Oh my, the big egg is hatching,” she called to her hen friends.
All her friends gathered round and watched as the egg began to crack and pieces fall out of the shell. A yellowish head flopped out on the ground and the mother hen nearly fainted at the sight. Surely that thing couldn’t be her baby. It was big and ugly.
“Cluck,” said the other hens. They were trying hard to think of something nice to say. “Er, congratulations,” said one. “He’s so big,” said another.
The little hen settled back on the baby to keep him warm. “Maybe he’ll look better when he dries off,” she thought. “Oh please let him look better,” she silently pleaded.
Several hours later, the baby poked his head out from under his mother. He was quite large next to the other babies and had an ugly bump on top of his head. “Peep,” he said in a deep voice.
The mother hen jumped at the sound and thought she would die of embarrassment. The other mothers tried to be kind but found it hard to find nice things to say. No one had ever seen a baby quite like this one.
The other baby chicks didn’t seem to mind, for they were brand new too and didn’t know how to be unkind. It was true he didn’t understand “Silkie” very good but that was OK. He had a booming voice some of the chicks envied. Everyone listened and got out of his way, even when they didn’t know what he was saying.
The mother was a kind, gentle mother and did her very best to teach him how to be a Silkie. He was so big that when he slept under her wing, he poked out the side. He had a hard time understanding her and often she would end up standing on her toes and yelling. Finally he would get it and do as she wished.
All the other babies tried to help with his lessons. He tried very hard and learned to do most chicken things. He was still clumsy and slow but the babies liked him anyway. He had nice long legs and the bump on his head grew into what looked like a bouquet of flowers. He was rather handsome in a strange sort of way.
One day all the silkie babies were outside the chicken house, scratching in the dirt. “Mama, mama,” yelled one of the babies. “Come quick.”
“What’s the matter?” The mother raced outside, heart pounding
Look!” yelled the baby. “There’s a line of babies with that big bird that look just like Junior.”
Sure enough a huge mother bird was walking by and following behind were four babies that looked just like Junior.
“Oh my,” gasped the mother Silkie. “That’s a peahen. Junior must be a peacock baby. How on earth did his egg get in with mine?”
Junior just stood with his beak hanging open, watching the line of babies and mother go by. Finally he asked, “Mama, am I like those babies? Do you mean I’m not a Silkie?” His voice was shaky.
“Yes, you must be a peacock. It doesn’t matter though, because I love you and you will always be my baby.” She ruffled her feathers around him.
The other Silkie babies were very impressed and Junior became their hero in the chicken house. When he was all grown up, he was taken to live with other peacocks and he learned to speak “Peacock, but he always spoke with a “Silkie” accent.