Happy Hatchday, Gracie and Bessie!…Here Is Your “Worms And Hay Bales” Game!

Worms And Straw Bales

Today is our Hatchday celebration for Gracie and Bessie. They are three years old. That is all of the toes they can see on one foot, and so it’s kind of a big deal. Here is their Hatchday gift to you, our readers!

“Worms And Hay Bales!” (Worms Optional Version)

Object Of The Game Two chicken players are racing to get to the end of a winding trail through their yard. The winner is the first player to reach the end of the trail and land on Space 36.

How To Set Up Place the game board between the two players. Each player places their marker next to, but not on, Space 1. Place the dice in a good area for rolling so as not to disturb the game board, markers, and worms (if you are using them). That is it! You’re all set up to play!

Special Note: You may want to borrow markers and a die from another game to use when playing “Worms And Straw Bales!” at home. That way you can start playing right away! Along with the PDF below for the game board, there is also one for the game playing pieces. This is just in case you want to make ours using scissors and a glue stick.

How To Start Playing For the first game, players roll to see who gets the higher number. That player gets to go first. (After the first game, the loser of the last game gets to go first.) Players take turns rolling and then moving their marker foreward the number of spaces shown.

This will be as few as one or as many as six, but remember that sometimes just moving one space can have advantages depending on where you land! And sometimes moving all six spaces might not work out so well. Here’s what we mean.

Land On The Bottom Of A Straw Bale If a player lands on a space which is the bottom of a straw bale, they must move their marker to the top of the straw bale. This means being on a higher numbered space and closer to winning!

Land On The Head Or Middle Of A Worm If a player lands on a space which is the head or middle of a worm, they must move their marker to the tail of the worm. This means being on a lower numbered space and not as close to winning.

Land On Another Chicken’s Space If a player lands on a space which is already occupied my another player, they must move to the next space with the lower number. “I was here first” is the rule to remember when this happens. (The player may need to move again based on the directions for that space.)

Land On An Arrow Sorry, but these are just to help you make sure you are moving in the correct direction! (Players do not get to move up when they land on an arrow.)

Declaring The Winner! The game is over when one player lands on Space 36. This can be an “exact number” roll or an “enough to get you there” roll. (It is best to decide this before you begin to play.) If you are playing at home with your own chickens, it is strongly recommended that the winner receive at least one worm as a treat.

“Worms And Straw Bales!” Game Board  Print one of these on card stock paper if you have it. If you want to use your own dice and markers, that’s all there is to do!

(Optional) “Worms And Straw Bales!” Game Playing Pieces Print one of these if you want to use our dice and markers. Card stock paper works best. If you want to add your own colors, that would be great! Just be sure to do it before you cut out your pieces. (Cut on the solid lines, fold on the dashed lines, and glue together one side at a time.)

We hope you will enjoy playing this game as much as we enjoyed making it to share with you. And if this game helps pass the time during this unusual season the world is going through right now, then it truly will be a very Happy Hatchday for all of us.

Thanks again!

Gracie, Bessie, and John

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

This type of game may seem a little “old school” when compared to may of the electronic games and other options which are available these days. Still, I would like to believe there is a special joy found in games like this, even if only for chickens!

Family Photo Friday…First Month Hatchday Celebration!

Family Photo Friday

I apologize for the low quality of this photo. When it was taken, I never imagined I would be sharing any of these “baby” photos with the whole world! But it looks like Gracie had some idea. That’s her in the lower left corner. She is smiling shyly for the camera while everyone else is enjoying some homegrown sprouts. Bessie is the one in the upper right. She is standing on the sprouts and trying to get the best ones before anyone else.

This photo was taken close to the one-month Hatchday celebration for Gracie and Bessie and their other hatchmates. They had definitely grown a great deal in only one month, and those fresh sprouts helped them grow even more.

Tomorrow we will celebrate their Third Hatchday with lots and lots of worms and other special treats. Three is a big number. Three is an important number. Three is all of the toes they can see and count on one foot, and for them, it’s a really BIG deal!

They will also be giving you a gift of their “Worms And Hay Bales!” board game. It’s a great game to play at home with your own chickens…or children if you are not fortunate enough to have any chickens of your own.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Remembering Blanche And All That Really Needs To Be Said

Dedication Page

Today, April 21st, is our day to remember Blanche who told us “Farewell” in her own way on this day last year when it was Easter Sunday. This post is mostly at Pearl’s request, and it features the illustration from the dedication page of our next book which is about Blanche and Pearl and The Bottle Cap Lady. The book is dedicated to Blanche, who will always be Pearl’s best friend ever.

The illustration style is one that Pearl likes best. It uses drawings made on pieces of torn scraps of paper she collected over time. This is not the easiest for me to do, but it is Pearl’s story, and so she gets the final approval whenever possible. I do like the idea of rescuing things thrown away like this scrap of paper and then turning them into something beautiful. That is what happens in this story to more than just the things blown out of the trash truck each Tuesday and then collected by Pearl.

She has also been considering a change in the title to The Bottle Cap Lady with the subtitle Or How To Explain Christmas To Chickens. But there is still plenty of time to decide.

Here is an excerpt Pearl asked me to share with you today as we remember Blanche together.

The only words I ever recall Blanche telling me directly were “Thank you.”

She said this to me on one of her last nights with us when I took her in for a warm bath and was drying her off. There was no one else around to hear her, only me. She nodded after she said those words, and I held her closer still. She had not been able to get up to the coop by herself that Good Friday night.

She would talk to me when the others were talking to me, all in a group. But we never really had a heart to heart conversation.

I’m unsure why that was. Perhaps she felt it was helping to protect Pearl in some way. Not that she was afraid I would hurt her or Pearl, just that it was safer if the others always thought they were my favorites rather than the two of them.

I suppose sometimes “Thank you” is really all that needs to be said. But we really need to listen carefully when someone tells us “Thank you.” Sometimes what they really may be saying is “Farewell.”

from “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens”

We appreciate you for remembering Blanche with us and look forward to sharing this full story with you soon.

Pearl and John and also Gracie, Bessie, Emily, and Amelia

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!