Today’s story and illustration come from Chapter Two of “How To Find A Most Wondrous Place.”
If a little chick is ever to quiver with excitement, it will be the first time they stand on a fresh springtime lawn. Then they realize, “This is almost too good to be true. This is the life for me!”
There is warm sunshine to enjoy. There is cool dewy grass to eat. And there are bugs everywhere! In an instant, their entire world is alive with new colors, sounds, and sensations. So could those things make our garden A Most Wondrous Place?
Before then, they had relied on me to bring them treats. Once outside, they could hunt for their own. And they hunted! Whoever found an earthworm would take it and run. Everyone would follow and hope to grab it away from the lucky chick who had found it.
There was only one direction…forward! And there was only one speed…as fast as their little feet would carry them!
Each worm would get passed around several times. It took great skill to dodge and block and eventually maneuver into a spot where the winner could gobble it down.
It was their game, and they made up their own rules. They owned it, and I simply named it The Worm Olympics Game.
There were times when they were unable to find any worms. They would all line up at the play fence and watch in awe as I dug up a fresh batch of worms from the compost pile. Their eyes grew big and they peeped and cheeped with delight when I said, “We have some, and they are whoppers!” To them, I was the greatest worm hunter of all time.
Sometimes I acted as referee and supplied the “worm toss” to start a new contest, but the object of the game was always the same. They played simply to have fun with their friends and maybe enjoy an earthworm or two.
Each outdoor adventure gave them new experiences and new knowledge. They would run and play until they were completely exhausted. Then they would flop down on their tummies with their wings spread straight out and take a nap. We called this “going splat.”
Once they had played their last game for the day, I would gently pick them up and return them to their brooder box for dinner and a warm night of rest. They had all they needed with their friends and a world full of wonders.
“I remember how we used to go splat after playing outside,” Gracie told me when we were reminiscing one day. “Bessie and I would always go splat together.”
“The two of you were easy to spot. You would be resting your head on Bessie, or she would be resting her head on you. None of the others would go splat like that. Only the two of you.”
“Yes, that was truly A Most Wondrous Place.”
There were those mysterious words again. Gracie had given me another clue to help me discover for myself what A Most Wondrous Place means to chickens.
“Even now on cold nights, I still see Bessie gently resting her head on your back just like how the two of you used to do.”
“And it is still only the two of us who do that,” she said. Then she added, “The Promise Of A Most Wondrous Place is that every heart can find a way into it because it is always trying to find a way into every heart.”
Wild roses in May are for love and adoration. The wild roses in our garden say to us, “There is always an abundance of the truly good things in life like friends to adore.”
Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! If you have read our first book, “Seasons Of Friendship,” some of this may seem familiar, but there is now a beginning, middle, and end. These make one longer and more focused story rather than a collection of stories. By the way, each of our books will have at least one thing hidden in the illustrations. (This is a special promise to Gracie.) Did you find it?