Starting Over

“Sometimes we learn a little from our goofs,” said Pearl. “Sometimes we learn a lot from them. I should know. I have had more goofs than any chicken here.”

“Thank you for helping me to cheer up. So what do you think we should do with the story about you and Blanche and The Bottle Cap Lady?”

“I think we should start over again with the pictures. The ones you made. The ones I made. The ones we made together.”

She went over to her stash of drawings and pulled out a few.

“Remember when I told you these are my heart and my life?”

She spread her drawings carefully in front of me.

“If a story is good like a life is good, then you should be able to tell all of the important parts just in pictures.”

She looked up at me, and gave me a little hop up into the air for no special reason other than because she is Pearl.

“Pictures that show action, that is. Love is action. You told me that yourself.”

She rearranged her pictures so they were in the proper order to show me the story they told about her life.

“Then you can add some words. The words all depend on who gets the gift of your story.”

“The gift of my story?” I repeated back to her. “I never thought about a story as a gift.”

“Well, maybe you should. Blanche gave me gifts I never realized were gifts at the time. It is something to think about.”

Pearl seemed a little surprised at her own insights (or perhaps at my lack of them).

“Pearl, what is the most important thing about your story?”

“Blanche was my best friend ever,” she said. “Blanche tried to teach me about giving, but I did not begin to really understand until after Blanche left us that Easter Sunday. I wanted to be a light in the Bottle Cap Lady’s life, just like Blanche had been for me, so I gave a Christmas gift to her. It meant not getting my own gift because I was not in my own home and asleep when Santa Claus came. But I got an even better gift than I could have imagined.”

I was silent and just smiled at her.

“That’s it. That’s all. That is what you should tell people with the words,” she said and waited for me to say something. “That is my heart. That is my life.”

“And such a sweet and beautiful heart and life you have, Pearl.”

She gave me another a little hop up into the air for no special reason.

“Don’t you want to say something about how Gracie had said ‘silliness never saved a chicken’s life’ but you saved everyone from the opossum by being silly and scaring it off?”

“Not really. But you can if you want.”

“Don’t you want to say something about how The Bottle Cap Lady drank all of those soda pops and ate all of those candy bars?”

“Not really. But you can if you want.”

“Or how she lost her job at The Chicken Place because she kept falling asleep at work? And why she kept falling asleep at work?”

“Not really. But you can if you want.”

“Or how she roamed around the neighborhood saying strange things or doing strange things even in the middle of the night? Or how she stole eggs right from under you?”

“Not really. I don’t want to tell any of those things. But you can if you want.”

“Why is that, Pearl?”

“You know already. You told me yourself. Love fills emptiness. Love covers imperfection.

“I loved The Bottle Cap Lady when nobody else loved her. Even when she could not love me back and had nothing to give me, I still loved her. That is what Christmas is about. That is what Easter is all about too.

“Light and life and love are all about giving, just like Blanche said. People need to know that part most of all. Tell them whatever will help them understand that part.”

She gave me another a little hop up into the air, but this time for the very special reason that she had just shared some of her light with me.

“You are such a pearl, my little Pearl.”

Pearl and I put our heads together and made a personal inspiration video that uses the illustrations for “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” along with a song that seems to fit. You can get to it through our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page or directly on our Vimeo page. You do not need a Facebook account or Vimeo account.

We are going to try to be more conscientious and always have something special pinned to the top of our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page just for all of our fans!

A Favorite Of My Chickens (And Of Mine Too)

Today’s post is quite different from the usual because it features a video from YouTube rather than a drawing. If you have already read either “The Bottle Cap Lady” or “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” then you know this song plays an important part in wrapping up the ending to the story. This version of the song by Lexi Walker is particularly beautiful.

The lyrics of the song are completely in French, which my chickens adore, and that allows the heart to feel what the song is about, especially when one does not understand French. The ears may hear, but the heart feels.

For me, Christmas is something that must be felt with the heart, and this can vary from one person to another as well as from one year to another in the same person’s life. I have tried to write the story not in a way that the ear will hear it, but in a way that the heart will feel it. You might say it is an open-ended story when it comes to what Christmas is all about because it does not include a retelling of the original Christmas story. Hopefully this encourages the question, “What does Christmas mean to me?” or “How would I explain Christmas to chickens?”

Anyway, my chickens have been requesting to watch this video repeatedly, sort of like when I brought out my old record player for them with classical albums from the thrift store. I have a feeling that they have begun working on some ballet choreography to go with this song as a gift to me this Christmas. After all, both books are about giving gifts that can not be wrapped up in paper, and a beautifully choreographed ballet version of this song could not be wrapped up in paper. (Although gift wrap would make a fine backdrop and scenery!)

As you watch, I hope you will close your eyes and imagine a circle of chickens dancing ballet in celebration. They may even be wearing silvery sparkling tutus made from fabric that matches the singer’s dress as well!

If by some chance this does not display in your WordPress reader, you can do a Google search on “Lexi Walker il est ne le divin enfant video” and it should be the first one listed.

Now Available: The Most Long-Anticipated Pair Of Chicken Novels Of The Century! Perhaps Of All Time!

More people than a chicken can count have been clamoring for a really good chicken novel. It’s likely you’ve heard someone wondering aloud in a dejected sort of way, “Will I ever find a good old-fashioned, feel-good novel about a chicken?” Well, the waiting is over!

These novels contain the same story, just with different titles and different covers. The text is the same with only a few differences in the preface, introduction, and epilogue which reference illustrations. Pick the one that suits you best! (And save the author the difficult decision of choosing just one audience and genre!)

You might want to think of “The Bottle Cap Lady” as children’s fiction pretending to be adult fiction. It is the unillustrated version of the story and placed in Adult Literature. In the same way, you might want to consider “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” as adult fiction disguised as children’s fiction. It is the illustrated version and placed in Children’s Literature.

Both books tell what happened one Christmas when the world of The Bottle Cap Lady intersected the world of a little white hen named Pearl who has always had a “heaping helping” of curiosity.

The Bottle Cap Lady has served up more Deluxe Chicken Dinners than anyone else at The Chicken Place restaurant. Pearl does not want to become a Deluxe Chicken Dinner, but she hopes The Bottle Cap Lady can explain Christmas to her. Even though The Bottle Cap Lady is strange and often dangerously unpredictable, she has more Christmas lights and decorations than anyone, so surely she must know more about Christmas than anyone. Right?

There is a Christmas gift that only Pearl can give to The Bottle Cap Lady, but will she dare…even if it means giving up her own Christmas wish…and perhaps even her life?

Amazon eBooks

“The Bottle Cap Lady” is now available as an eBook novel for $2.99 through Amazon! Go there for “The Bottle Cap Lady” eBook!

“How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” is now available as an eBook novel with 10 full-color illustrations for $2.99 through Amazon! Go there for “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” eBook!

Barnes & Noble eBooks

“The Bottle Cap Lady” is now available as an eBook novel for $2.99 through Barnes & Noble! Go there for “The Bottle Cap Lady” eBook!

“How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” is now available as an eBook novel with 10 full-color illustrations for $2.99 through Barnes & Noble! Go there for “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” eBook!

Special Note: Both novels will be available as paperbacks once the printed proofs have been reviewed and approved!

Super Special Note: With the current global health and economic crisis, even just a few dollars could be a huge amount for some of our readers. We will be releasing a FREE limited-time-only read-on-line version of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” (the version with illustrations) soon!