This post is the conclusion to a short series which began last week. You can begin at the beginning by reading here if you’d like.
“So what do you think about all of the treats you collected?” I asked. “You almost filled your bag, and it was a big bag too.”
They looked at each other, unsure of what to say and who should say it. I waited.
At last, Gracie spoke up and said, “Honestly, we felt really sad, especially for the other kids.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we got corn. But it was hard. Not like what we get at home. And when we tried the little pieces of it, they tasted terrible.”
“Emily had to spit hers out,” added Bessie.
“I see. Was that all?”
“The worms,” said Gracie. “We got plenty of worms, but they were covered with white sand. They were hard and rubbery too. And sour. We don’t like sour worms.”
“They wiggled like real worms when we shook them, but they weren’t real worms,” said Amelia. “They must have been some kind of trick worms for trick-or-treating.”
“We got tricked,” said Bessie. “And that was no fun.”
They all nodded in agreement.
“I would have been disappointed too if I was you. Is there anything else?”
“There was one more thing,” said Amelia. “We didn’t like being called ‘the funny kids with the homemade costumes’ by the other trick-or-treaters.”
“That was not right or fair,” added Bessie.
“Yes, I heard that too. But you were right not to say anything back to them. That might have only made things worse. Their costumes did look like they came from a store. But the stores don’t sell chicken-sized costumes.”
“Why not?” asked Bessie. “Chickens have rights too.”
“I think it might have something to do with the fire code.”
“Oh,” they all said, and nodded knowingly. Chickens do not like fire even though they don’t know what a fire code is. (This answer has helped me out of a good number of tough conversations. Hopefully they will never ask what a fire code is.)
“Why would they make fun of us like that?” asked Emily. Her feelings seem to have been hurt the most. “They were loving all of their treats. They thought everything was really tasty. They were getting exactly what they wanted, but we weren’t. And then they had to make fun of us too.”
“But you did enjoy making your costumes and wearing them. Didn’t you? And you did enjoy doing all of this together. Didn’t you?”
I leaned in and lowered my voice as if I was about to tell them the biggest secret in the entire universe. “Can I tell you something?”
“Okay,” they whispered back to me.
“In a few years, those kids, even The Big Boy At The End Of The Street, will have forgotten all about their store-bought costumes. They will have forgotten about how tasty all of those treats were for them. But you will still remember how much fun you had making your costumes together and all the times like this that you spent together.”
They thought this over carefully. Chickens do have very good memories.
“What’s more…You have real friends all over the world, and if you had shown up on any one of their front doorsteps, your real friends would have given you the best chicken-loving kind of corn and the best chicken-loving kind of worms you could ever imagine. Even without the scary Halloween costumes. Just because you are you.”
“You are my little flock. And that will never change. Even when you go out looking for better treats than what we have right here in our own backyard, you will always have this place and each other. This will always be your home, and this will always be your family.”
They looked around their back yard and at each other. Their eyes brightened.
“What if I take these treats and give them to some kids who might not have been able to go trick-or-treating?” I asked.
“Then we can do a little work together in the yard and garden. I need to do some raking, and I’ll bet there are crickets hiding in the leaves. What do you say?”
“We say we are your flock of chickens, and we would like that very much.”
“So you aren’t ‘the other kids’ any more?”
“We are what we are,” they said with one voice. “And we are very happy with what we are.”
“And next year,” Gracie added, “Maybe our costumes will even let us flap our wings and dance ballet.”
Then because she could not hold it in any longer, Pearl put her foot up in the air and sang out, “Trick Or Treat! Smell My Feet!”
And all was right once again in the world of our little backyard garden.
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Poll Results for “Scariest Halloween Costume Contest!”
👻 BOTH!!! 👻……33%
👻 “Finger Lickin’ Ghoul” 👻……33%
👻 “Eat More Chikin” 👻……22%
Other……13% “The chicken in the pumpkin” and “Both! AND Pearl in the Pumpkin too! Peek-a-Booo!”