Everyone wanted to know what a birthday is since today is my birthday. “A birthday is like a hatchday, well, sort of, almost…” I said.

“So people do hatch from eggs!” they all said together, partly with amazement at what a big egg I must have come from and partly with satisfaction from finally figuring out the big secret of where people come from.

“Not exactly,” I said, “But that’s kind of close enough. We can discuss it all later, okay? Right now, I have birthday gifts for you.”

“Like what we chickens give to everyone on our hatchday celebrations?”

“Now that is exactly right!”

I was glad to have been able to navigate around the discussion about where people come from. It was tough enough to explain where chickens come from, but I had done the best I could since they never had a Chicken Momma to explain these things to them.

I spread out half of a straw bale into their run for them to enjoy. You may not think of that as much of a gift, but to a chicken, it is a goldmine and treasure hunt all rolled into one wonderful gift. You see, the straw bales from the previous winter have just been sitting in the yard and slowly decomposing. They have also been holding onto moisture. And if there are two things that the tastiest worms and bugs love, it’s decomposing stuff and moisture!

After they had thoroughly examined every bit of straw for delicious treats, Bessie came to me and asked, “So on a birthday, does anyone give you a gift?”

“Usually a birthday cake. It’s like a cupcake only bigger. When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother would always bake my favorite cake for my birthday. It was a strawberry cake with real strawberries in the cake and real strawberries in the icing.”

“I could bake you dozens of strawberry cupcakes or just one really big strawberry cupcake,” she offered. (Bessie loves to bake, and we have shared some of her own recipes here in the past.)

“That would be nice. But it is summer and the kitchen does get really hot when you’re baking in the summertime. Maybe you’d like to learn how to make something else my mother and grandmother made for me called banana pudding.”

The word “banana” caught Gracie’s attention because Gracie does love bananas. They are not an everyday treat because she needs to stay at a good weight for dancing ballet.

The two of them went off into a corner and put their heads together. They were obviously planning something. Whatever they come up with, it will be wonderful. It may be The Biggest Strawberry Cupcake Ever or a Real Meringue-Topped Banana Pudding or something in between. And if what they make doesn’t work out particularly well, there is always ice cream. It is amazing how many baking goofs can be turned into an ice cream topping! And, of course, Pearl may even put on her Let’s Go Bananas Hat and entertain everyone this evening.

All in all, I’m expecting today to be a perfect birthday as I already have five of the most wonderful gifts ever right here with me in my own backyard!

 

 

29 thoughts on “A Birthday Is Like A Hatchday, Well, Sort Of, Almost…

      1. Weird question here but are you from the U.S. or UK? It really doesn’t matter but I need an accent for you when I read your book to my daughter and I need to pick an accent that’s accurate 😉 I tried British but you have a lot of American references so I’m going with American at this point. I give you a slight southern twang without sounding like a hick. However, I give the chickens British accents because I feel they should sound British…but I don’t know why. Maybe it’s from that kid’s chicken movie I watched with the kids a few years ago . . .

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      2. I am from coastal Virginia, so there is a slight southern twang! Good for you. My chickens would do well with a British accent. (Sort of very proper in the way they speak just as you would imagine!) They don’t always phrase things the way I do, and they seldom use contractions when speaking (only when not using a contraction would make what they say sound awkward). You are right on target! The funniest thing is I did have one reader who really did picture me as being British because I sometime would write things in a British way! Though I’m not sure how that is, but I did take it as a compliment. Thank you for your delightful questions!

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      3. Excellent, because she does use some bad grammar when she has collected too many bottle caps. The scariest chapter is “The Terrifying Chicken Freak Show.” Even though it’s just a dream, it is scary, at least for a chicken. Her voice there may be a little like Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch Of The West, but you should go with what you feel is right!

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    1. Same here. I keep thinking about all of the people who have read and commented and appreciated what they’ve found on “My Life With Gracie” but then leave WordPress. And the number of followers that show in WordPress stats are not what I would call “active” followers. (And every now and then, some strange things show up on my stats page here…like dozens of posts being viewed really quickly, PDF’s being accessed without their associated post or page being accessed…sort of like what you have written about in some of your warning posts before.)

      I really would like to give away free paperback copies through Amazon now that I have found out how to set up for all of the Amazon markets and not just here in the U.S., but I want those free paperback copies to go to real fans. This is all just one of the things I wish I had done way back when I first started “My Life With Gracie,” but there’s no time like the present to go for it! 🙂

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      1. Thanks, Cathy. I’m going to remove that part of my post then. Maybe it only worked for me because I used the same email address that I used when I set up my Mailchimp account. I did look into doing a email list through WordPress, but you have to upgrade to a business account, and I can’t afford that right now! (Maybe never!) Thank you a million times for letting me know!

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