Today’s illustration has been provided by Emily. You may remember some of her previous artwork from the series titled “Emily’s Summer Drawing Camp.” This is the story behind her drawing for today.
“I really do admire all of you chickens,” I said to Gracie. “I would make a lousy chicken. Probably the lousiest chicken in the whole history of lousy chickens.”
“Chickens do not keep history the way people do. There are no lousiest chickens.”
“You know what I mean, Gracie. If I was a chicken, I wouldn’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain.”
“Yes, you would. We would make sure of it.”
“I know you would, Gracie, because you are so kind. But that’s not quite what I mean.”
We looked at each other, not sure who should speak next.
There was a gust of winter wind, and the others trotted over to where Gracie and I were standing. They gathered around her, and everyone turned slightly to face into the wind as it shifted a little more from the west.
“You see, that’s exactly what I mean!”
They all looked up quizzically. Only Gracie had an idea of what I was getting at because the others hadn’t been listening.
“He is telling about why he would make a lousy chicken,” she quickly explained.
“There are no lousy chickens,” said Bessie. “There has never been a lousy chicken in the whole history of chickens.”
“Chickens don’t keep history,” reminded Gracie.
“All the more reason why there has never been a lousy chicken,” said Bessie, confident that her point had been unmistakably proven.
The wind gusted again, and five beaks and bodies moved to point into its slightly changed direction. I kept my back to the wind and pulled the collar of my jacket up higher on my neck.
“See! There you go again!” I said.
Their confused expressions returned.
“You face into the cold wind, no matter how hard it blows. If I was a chicken, I would turn my back to the cold wind and wait for it to die down.”
“No, you wouldn’t,” said Gracie with utmost confidence. “Well, maybe only once or twice.”
“Why is that? Because you would teach me and make sure I didn’t?”
“That is a lesson you would learn for yourself the first time that an icy cold wind got up into your tail feathers!”
Everyone thought this was hilarious as they imagined me as a chicken with a beard in front and tail feathers in back. I had to chuckle some myself.
“You would not be a lousy chicken,” said Gracie, “But you would be a most unfortunate chicken until you figured it out for yourself.”
Then I realized there is a reason my chickens face into the wind. They are streamlined that way. The wind may be cold when it hits their faces, but the rest of them remains warm and protected. The wind can’t get up into their feathers.
Another cold gust of wind came at us from a slightly different direction and all of the chickens adjusted a bit to face more directly into it. This time I faced into the wind with them.
“Foofity boofity bottomy feathers!” Pearl began to say over and over until the words turned into a song. “Foofity boofity, boofity foofity, bottomy feathers for you, for you!” Her silliness made everyone laugh and soon the cold didn’t feel as cold any more.
My Life With Gracie taught me to face into the winds of hardships rather than turning my back to them.
Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!
This brief story was inspired not only by the cold winds we have been having this week, but also by some of the hardships that you, our readers, have had recently. (You know who you are.) Your ability to face those hardships head-on is an inspiration to us all.