Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 4

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Jake set out for the post office, a backpack slung over his shoulder.

Did you tell your mom where we, er, you were going?

“Of course I didn’t,” he whispered to the bag. “I just told her I was going for a bike ride to town.”

Pecky moved around in the bag, making Jake jiggle on the bike.

“Stay still! You are going to make me fall off.”

Sorry, I don’t have a lot of room in here you know.

Pecky had doubled in size in just a few days. Jake had to take everything out of the backpack just so he would fit.

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“We’re almost there. Just try not to move until I get off the bike.”

Jake parked his bike outside the door and walked into the building.

“Hello young man. What can I do for you today?”

Jake studied the jolly postmaster behind the counter. He looked friendly enough.

“Hello sir,” he said nervously. “I wanted to ask about a package we received a few weeks ago. I have the label right here.”

Jake pulled a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket.

The postmaster took the label and looked at Jake expectantly.

“What would you like to know? Was there a problem with the package?”

Clearing his throat, Jake recited the speech he and Pecky had agreed on.

“No…I mean yes. There was an extra chick in the package and I was just wondering where it came from.”

He glanced at the label and then back at Jake.

“It says here it came from McDougal Hatchery. Isn’t that where you ordered the chicks from?”

A flush crept up Jake’s neck. He didn’t want the man to know too much about Pecky, but he needed information.

“Yes, but I think we may have gotten the wrong package. We ordered 25 Leghorns and they sent an extra that doesn’t look like the rest.”

“Hmmm,” he said looking down at the label.

“Do you remember who delivered the package? Maybe I could ask if the boxes got mixed up or something.”

The man scratched his head and tapped his chin.

“Yes, there were several boxes of chicks. I remember because they chirped and peeped all day long,” he chuckled.

Jake’s heart plummeted. With so many packages arriving that day, it would be next to impossible to find out if any boxes were switched up.

“Oh!” exclaimed the postmaster. “Yes, I remember now. After the driver delivered all of the chicks, he ran back in with another box and said that he needed to switch it out. Said he made a mistake.”

“And it was this package?”

“It very well could have been, but I can’t be completely sure. The driver seemed very concerned about the swap.”

“And do you remember his name?”

The postmaster scratched his head.

“Sorry, I can’t remember. Wish I could—Oh yes! It was Gilbert! Gilbert from McDougal Hatchery.”

“Thank you sir!” Jake smiled.

“No problem young man. I hope you find what you are looking for.”

After Jake left the post office and was safely out of sight, he unzipped the backpack and looked down at Pecky.

Well? Does that name mean anything to you?

“Yes. Yes it does.”

And?

“Gilbert is who I talked to at the hatchery.”

Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 3

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Listen here.

Pecky and the rest of the chicks were growing at an alarming rate. They were outgrowing their first home so they’d been moved to new, larger pen.

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“You’ll be more comfortable out here,” Jake said as he watched the flock race around in their new pen.

I guess. Did you have any luck at the hatchery?

“Not really.”

What does that mean?

Jake sighed, remembering the rude man he tried to talk to about Pecky when he and his mom went to pick up more chick food at the hatchery.

“Well…I asked if they had any other gray chicks with green legs. Told them that we were thinking of getting a few more.”

And? What did they say?

That’s the strange part. The guy seemed…uncomfortable.”

Hmmm. That’s interesting.

That’s what I thought. He told me he didn’t know what I was talking about. That I must be mistaken.”

Mistaken? Didn’t you tell him you ordered from that hatchery?

“That’s just it. He insisted that I was wrong. Said I must have ordered it from another hatchery. Before I could ask any more questions, he turned and said he had to get some work done and I should just forget about ‘those chicks’.”

Pecky let out a frustrated squawk, startling the other chicks. They all ran to a corner of the pen and seemed to glare indignantly at him.

“So I guess that’s it.”

Pecky ruffled his feathers and looked up at Jake with angry eyes. Of course, thought Jake, chickens always looked angry.

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What do you mean ‘that’s it’? One dead end and you are ready to give up?

I don’t see what else we can do,” Jake said defensively.

Pacing, Pecky let out a series of cheeps and chirps.

Wait! What about the shipping company? 

“Shipping company? What would they know?

They’d know if the chicks came from that hatchery. And, if they didn’t, they’d know where they came from.

Jake went into the garage and rummaged through the recycling, looking for the box the chicks came in. When he found it, he could hardly believe they were ever small enough to fit in the little box. He took it back to the pen to show Pecky.

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“Here it is. They were shipped through the post office. I remember Mom going to pick them up.”

That’s it then. We have to go to the post office.

Opportunities

When it rains it pours
The storm clouds rear
The lightning fierce and fast

The droplets plop
The thunder rolls
The skies turn dark and masked

The sun bursts through
Shiny, strong
Its rays pierce through the gray

All things are sparkling
Fresh and new
A bright and glorious day

Branching Out

Goals push us forward and help us grow. This year, my goal for my voice acting adventure is to branch out beyond audiobooks.

I’ve been playing around with video game narration. E-Sports is a huge and growing industry and there are so many companies…small starters to big leaders…coming out with new games and in need of voice talent.

Looking for script samples was fun. Voices.com had a nice variety, so I started with this adventure/fantasy script featuring a brave, strong and compassionate princess in a 17th Century silver mining kingdom.

I’ll continue to play around with voices and plan to sit with the boys as they play their favorite card collecting video games to get a feel for voices and characters. I’m sure they will be only too eager to help with this “market research”.

Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 2

(For Chapter 1 click here.)

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Chapter 2

The next morning, Jake sat on the edge of his bed staring at a pair of socks.

Chickens can’t talk. Can they?

Of course not!

And yet…

Shaking his head, Jake finished dressing and headed down for breakfast.

“Good morning Mom!”

“Morning sweetie,” she said as she poured him a glass of juice. “What did you dream about?”

Since he could remember, Jake and his mom started the day sharing their dreams. Sometimes they were silly, sometimes scary and sometimes just plain weird.

Of course! It must have all been a dream!

With a sigh of relief, Jake launched into his dream, attacking his plate of eggs.

“Thanks for breakfast, Mom! Can I go out and play with the chicks?”

“Just be careful and don’t squeeze them too hard,” she said smiling.

Jake bounced out the garage door and peeked into the large tub that was the chicks’ temporary home.

“Morning girls!” he murmured cheerfully.

I told you, I’m NOT a girl!”

So much for it being a dream.

Jake reached in and picked Pecky Greenleg up. All the other yellow chicks scurried from his hand. Not Pecky, she–er–he stood his ground.

Hey! Stop tickling me!

“Sorry! I just don’t understand what’s going on here? Why can I hear you in my head?”

Pecky shifted uncomfortably in Jake’s hand.

“Pecky?”

I’m not sure. Where I come from we can all understand each other. These birds just cheep, eat and sleep.

“What do you mean where you come from? Aren’t you all from the same farm?”

Pecky glared at Jake and ruffled his feathers.

No! We do not ALL come from the same farm. I’m from…from…well, I’m not sure. But I know it’s not from the same farm as these other chicks!

“You don’t know where you came from?”

Well I’m only a few days old, you can’t expect that I know everything.

Jake slowly shook his head.

“I guess we’ll have to start with the hatchery we ordered you all from to figure this out.”

I doubt very much I came from a hatchery. 

“We’ll see.”

Yes. We will.

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Pecky Greenleg: Chapter One

Reviving an old story. Take a listen!

“What should we name this one, Jake?”

Jake studied the small chick with a thoughtful expression.

It’s gray feathers stood out in the sea of fuzzy yellow.

“Hmmm,” he murmured. “How about Pecky?”

“That’s a great name for a chicken,” his mom said with a smile.

“Wait,” said Jake. “Look at its legs.”

Jake’s mom peered at the tiny legs and noticed green feathers. “How odd,” she said.

“Her name is Pecky Greenleg!” crowed Jake.

His mom grinned and headed for the kitchen door.

“Are you coming in? It’s about time to eat lunch.”

Jake held the tiny chick in his hands, careful not to squeeze.

“In a little bit, I need to talk to Pecky Greenleg.”

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The chick stared up at the little boy, not sure he liked the name he had been given.

I don’t have green legs! And…I am not a hen!

“Not a hen?” said Jake with surprise written on his face.

The chick stared at the boy. The boy stared at the chick.

“Ha,” Jake said with a shake of his head. “I must be imag–“

You can hear me?

Jake gaped, wide-eyed at the chick.

“Y-you can talk?”

Well of course not!

B-but, I can hear you!”

Jake’s mom peeked out the door. “What was that sweetie?”

Startled, Jake nearly dropped Pecky Greenleg.

“N-nothing Mom.”

His voice was hoarse and shaking. His mom looked at him with concern.

“Are you sure? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

He looked at Pecky and could have sworn the bird shook his head.

“Ha,” he laughed nervously. “No really, I’m ok.”

“Ok, if you’re sure.”

“Yep, I’m fine.”

“Well, why don’t you come in and wash your hands. It’s time to eat. “

“Ok, be right there.”

When his mom shut the door, he looked back at the chick.

They stared at each other for so long that Jake thought he’d imagined the whole thing.

You’d better go in for lunch.

Spring Showers

Pitter, patter, pouring down
Stormy skies, dark clouds
Soaking in the marshy ground
Thunder booming loud

Drippy, droppy, raining sheets
Wind roars through the trees
Whipping everything it meets
All the critters flee

Spring arrives this afternoon
Lightning booms and shouts
Warmer weather coming soon
Helping all the sprouts!

Mischief Makers: Breaking News!

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North Pole Gazette

Reported by Sparkly Sprinkles

December 25, 2021

After a turbulent year, Pixie Powder and Figgy Frost are happy for some downtime at the North Pole. But these two Mischief Makers are in for a real surprise. 

A source who is familiar with the matter told this reporter that Frost and Powder are going to head up a new task force in the Mischief Maker Program: The B.R.A.T.T. Correctional Crew! 

B.R.A.T.T., or, Big Rowdy Association of Tiny Tyrants is an old division of the North Pole that, due to a series of in-home kerfuffles, has recently come back into service. Frost and Powder’s mission: assemble a team to target Tiny Tyrants and whip them into shape.

And here they come just out of Santa’s office! While Frost’s smile seems a bit forced and Powder’s giggle a little nervous, Santa knows these Mischief Makers are up to the job. 

Where will they go next? 

This is a developing story. 

Mischief Makers Day 24: The Final Farewell?

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You put us through the wringer
Our nerves were taut and frayed
We almost gave up several times
Your challenge was well-played

Goodbye all you dear children
We enjoyed? your little tricks.
Although we won’t be back next year
You won’t be in a fix.

We’ll send you someone special.
A team who’s stern, but fun.
They know all about you
Your trickster days are done!

Mischief Makers Day 23: Shocking Secrets

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“Figgy, Pixie!” Lil panted. “Don’t do it!”

Nim and Lil came streaming through the kitchen with Glitter hot on their heels. 

Pixie and Figgy frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Nim and Glitter looked around the room while Lil caught her breath. They saw the snack laden kitchen table and stack of games set up, ready to be played. 

“Oh,” sighed Glitter. “Good.”

Nim laughed nervously. “Whew! We thought for sure you were set to go out with a bang.”

“Well,” said Figgy. “We were just discussing livening this game day up a bit with some sparklers and fireworks.”

“NO!” Glitter, Nim and Lil all yelled at once.

“Jeez you three,” laughed Pixie. “Figgy is just kidding. We were only arguing about which game we should add to the pile. Quirkle or Mancala. Any votes?”

The new arrivals sighed in relief. 

“What’s going on?” asked Figgy. For the first time, he noticed the worried expressions on Nim and Lil’s faces and the serious set to Glitter’s head. 

Nim and Lil looked at eachother, communicating with eyebrows and head nods. 

“Wow you guys,” said Glitter. “Not too subtle, are you?”

Nim sighed. “We overheard Santa and The Director talking about you both.”

Figgy gasped. “The Director?” 

Lil nodded.

“What am I missing?” asked Pixie. “Who is ‘The Director’?”

“Sorry, Pixie,” said Lil. “I forget you were originally under the Birthday Beagle Brigade. The Director is the Head of Operations at the North Pole.”

“I thought Santa was the COO?”

“He is…sort of,” said Glitter. 

When Pixie still looked blank, Figgy filled her in. 

“The Director is in charge of the entire North Pole. All programs and events…even Santa.”

“And,” added Nim. “When there are problems that can’t be solved by traditional means, The Director sends a crew in to help.” 

“What problems have we caused?” asked Figgy. “We had a really rough start this season, but we managed to straighten out the Malloys ok.”

“Yeah,” added Pixie. “They’re absolute angels compared to the beginning of the year.”

“Righhhht,” said Glitter. “But it’s not just them. The Director had to re-enstate B.R.A.T.T. this season due to other…overzealous charges.”

“But that’s not our fault!” said Figgy. 

“I know,” said Lil. “We’re not exactly sure what is going on. We just overheard Santa and The Director talking and we heard your names and words like ‘too many messes’ and ‘re-assignment’.”

“Just who is The Director and why does he have so much power!?” spluttered Pixie.

She,” said Lil. “And she has so much power because she keeps the North Pole running smoothly. Santa would be lost without her help.”

Pixie’s eyes widened as realization dawned. “Mrs. Claus? She’s The Director?” 

Nim nodded while Figgy spluttered. “B-but does that mean…we won’t be coming back here next season?”

Lil gulped. “I’m afraid it may be worse than that.”

“That’s right,” said Nim. “We think Santa is pulling you two from the program.”

Mischief Makers Day 22: Manic Minutes

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Figgy and Pixie waited patiently for Nim and Lil. They were supposed to have met them at Candy Cane Cafe so they could all fly to the house together. Glitter had showed up and told them that Nim and Lil would just meet them at the Malloy’s. 

“Where are they?” asked Pixie for the hundredth time. 

“Santa must have needed them for longer than I thought,” said Glitter with a frown. 

“We really need to start setting up the games,” said Figgy. “I don’t think we can wait any longer.”

“Too bad, they were so excited to help tonight,” said Pixie. 

Glitter gazed at the sky, hoping to see the pair zooming toward the house. “Well, let’s get moving.”

“How many solo cups do we need?” asked Figgy as he pulled sleeve after sleeve after sleeve out of the giant bag of supplies. 

“Twenty-one per kid,” said Pixie. 

“Ok, that’s 21 times 12…carry the one, add the 2…the square root of 56 is…”.

“Geez Figgy, it’s 252,” said Pixie with a shake of her head. 

“Right. I knew that.”

“What about the ping pong balls?” asked Glitter.

“10 per kid,” said Pixie. 

“120 ping pong balls comi–.” 

Bddddddmmmmm! 

“Oh no!”

Ping pong balls spilled out over the floor rolling here, there and everywhere. 

Pixie and Figgy couldn’t help laughing as they watched Glitter canter around trying to gather them all back together.

“You could help me, you know!”

“Oh but it is so much more fun to watch,” said Pixie. At the glare from Glitter, Pixie relented and flew over to help collect them. 

“I’ll get the dice ready while Glitter plays ping-pong,” said Figgy. “How many do we need again?”

“Six per—72 Figgy. We need 72.”

“And 12 pairs of chopsticks!” Glitter shouted from the basement.

All three minute-to-win-it games were set up and still Nim and Lil were not at the house. 

“What did you say Santa needed to talk to them about, Glitter?” asked Figgy. 

When Glitter didn’t answer, Pixie prodded. “Glitter, tell us what you know.”

Glitter, who always seemed to be on top of all the North Pole news, didn’t answer at first. 

“Glitter?” Figgy folded his arms.

Turning to face Figgy and Pixie she admitted. “This time…I honestly have no idea. 

Mischief Makers Day 21: Clown Craze

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“Where in the North Pole is Pixie?” Figgy paced in front of Santa’s Workshop. “It’s getting early and we won’t have time for the balloon wall if she doesn’t get here soon!”

Lil looked up at the clocktower. “She’ll be here soon. She wanted to stop by Holiday Hair for a quick trim.”

“She wears a hat all the time, what does she need a trim for?? And why now of all times!?” 

Frantically, Figgy flew to Holiday Hair where he found a purple-haired Pixie smiling wide with sparkling eyes. “Well, what do you think?”

“Er…,” said Nim.

“Well…,” said Lil.

“What the holly happened to you, Pixie?” Figgy exclaimed.

“So…you don’t like my hair?”

“Your hair color is fine, but…well, look for yourself.”

Pixie peeked in the mirror and gasped. Her hair was a gorgeous violet shade, but the style was…big and circus-y.

Nim suspiciously fell into a coughing fit while Lil looked at Pixie sympathetically.

“It’s ok Pixie, it’ll grow back and settle down and–”.

“I LOVE IT!” shouted Pixie, twirling in the air. “It’s so…puffy! And FUN!”

“Come on, Pixie,” said Figgy, shaking his head. “Let’s get to the ring—I mean the Malloy house.” 

“Wait!” said Lil as the two started to take off. “I have an idea to go along with your balloons and Pixie’s new…style. You guys go ahead and get started, Nim and I will be along shortly with the rest.” 

* * *

Figgy and Pixie had been putting up the last of the balloons on the balloon wall when Nim and Lil showed up. 

“Great job with the balloons you guys!” Lil zipped through the window with Nim close on her heels carrying a bag of supplies.

“What’s in the bag, Nim?” asked Figgy.  

“Oh, just a few supplies.”

Nim and Lil reached into the overflowing bag and pulled out four clown costumes.

“No way,” said Figgy, already knowing what they were planning.

“But it’s the perfect complement to your balloon wall!” said Lil.

“How are clown costumes the perfect comp–oh.”

Nim, in the manner of a game show host, flourished supplies for making balloon animals. 

“Wonderful idea you two!” Pixie grabbed a nose and some shoes…she already had the hair covered.   

Figgy, resistant to the idea of dressing up like a clown, had to be gently persuaded to participate. 

“It’s alright Figgy, you’ll get used to the wig,” said Pixie.

“And the nose,” added Lil. 

“And the shoes,” said Nim. 

Grumbles were their only response. 

Bring in the clowns
Hang upside down
Dance ‘round the tree with me
Figgy don’t frown
Bring in the clowns!