Category Archives: Garden Stories

Pecky Greenleg Chapter 9

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“No, absolutely not! Pecky will not be used as bait!” Jake exclaimed.

We don’t have any other options,” said Gilbert. “Whoever is behind this can easily find out where Pecky has gone. It’s only a matter of time.”

“But–“

No Jake. It’s the only way.

Jake looked at Pecky and then turned and glared at Gilbert.

I have to do this. I don’t want to put you or your family in any more danger than I already have. 

Gilbert nodded in silent agreement.

Jake scowled.

It’s a risk, but we have to take it. 

Jake’s shoulders slumped and sadness filled his face. He knew they were right. Setting a trap was a sure way to catch the people bent on capturing Pecky.

“It’s getting late,” Jake sighed, looking at the clock. “We’d better figure out how this trap will work before my mom comes back to get me.”

For the next half hour they talked. Gilbert discarded all of Pecky’s suggestions and Jake poked holes in all of Gilbert’s ideas.

Finally, they decided that Jake’s plan was the best they could come up with.

Don’t worry Jake. The plan is a good one.

“Yes,” said Gilbert. “Pecky will be protected at every step.”

“Ok, let’s go through it one more time before I go.”

“We will put it out that we have a rare, exotic bird at the hatchery,” began Gilbert.

When people start coming to see me, Gilbert will be watching for any…suspicious behavior.

“We’ll watch his pen at night, waiting for them to come back.”

When they come back to get me, Gilbert will catch them and put them in one of the pens.

“Then we’ll be able to question them and find out why they’ve been after these gray chickens with green legs,” finished Gilbert.

“And if they don’t come back?” asked Jake.

Oh, they’ll come back. They’ve put too much effort into finding me to give up.

Pecky turned to Jake with determination in his eyes.

Go home Jake. Gilbert will let you know when it is safe to come back and get me. 

Jake felt chilled. He knew that he may be seeing Pecky for the last time.

As though reading his mind, Pecky ruffled his feathers and gave Jake an affectionate peck on the hand.

Go home.

With one last look at Pecky, Jake turned and walked out the door.

Pecky Greenleg Chapter 8

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Pecky looked as shocked as a chicken could look and was, for once, speechless.

“What do you mean he’s the only one left?” asked Jake.

“I mean…they didn’t make it.”

The accidents. They were…fatal?

Gilbert simply nodded.

All three were silent for a few minutes. Even though Pecky could not remember his fellow chicks, he felt a sadness at their loss.

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Jake reread the note he still held.

“Wait a minute, did you see this?”

Jake pointed to the final line in the note. “Danger awaits them outside your doors.”

“So?” Gilbert shrugged.

So, it says that danger awaits them outside the hatchery.”

But the real danger was inside!

“Exactly,” Gilbert said grimly.

“That still doesn’t explain why you gave Pecky to us,” said Jake.

“You were the last to place such a large order. We needed to smuggle Pecky out of the hatchery as quickly as possible.”

Pecky nodded, but Jake still looked doubtful.

“How could you be sure that we could be trusted? You could have been sending Pecky into danger.”

“It was a risk, but we had to take it.”

A loud silence filled the room.

Now what do we do?

“We…wait,” said Gilbert.

Jake scowled at Gilbert.

“We can’t just wait around for someone to come after Pecky.”

No. I’m not the only one who would be hurt. I can’t put Jake at risk.

“There is something else we could do,” Gilbert said slowly.

Well, what is it?

“You’re not going to like it.”

“Just spit it out already,” Jake said rolling his eyes.

“We could set a trap.”

“A trap? What would we use as bait…oh,” said Jake turning to Pecky.

Me. I would be the bait.

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Pecky Greenleg Chapter 7

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Jake eyed Gilbert warily as he stepped into the office.

You can hear Pecky?”

He shut the door.

“Yes,” said Gilbert.

Jake was surprised. Not even his mom could hear Pecky.

Gilbert gestured to the chair in front of his desk.

“Let me explain.”

Jake carefully set the backpack on the floor before sitting down.

You might as well take me out of here. 

Jake looked at Gilbert, still a little afraid he might try to hurt or steal Pecky.

Oh go on. If he wanted to hurt me, he would have already. 

“I don’t want to hurt either of you,” said Gilbert. “It’s why I placed Pecky with you in the first place.”

Jake unzipped the backpack and Pecky hopped out with a ruffle of feathers and a quiet squawk.

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Now that we are all here, why don’t you start your tale.

“You are not a normal chicken, and you’re not the only one of your kind.”

My kind?

“His kind?” Jake and Pecky said at the same time.

Gilbert nodded.

Well then, you’d better start at the beginning.

“Right,” said Gilbert. “A few weeks ago, we found a box of chicks in the lobby. No one knew where it came from. It just appeared on the front desk one day. When we opened the box, we found 25 gray chicks with green legs. We’d never seen a breed like it before.”

“What do you mean it “just appeared” one day?” Jake asked.

“Exactly what I said, our secretary came into work and the box was on her desk with a note attached to the top.”

Gilbert reached in his desk drawer and pulled out a small wooden box, unlocked it and pulled a piece of paper out.

“We kept it, hoping that one day we would figure out what it meant.”

Jake cleared his throat and read the note out loud. “’These chicks are special and need your protection. Please take care of them and never let them leave the hatchery. Danger awaits them outside your doors.’”

“But, the note says to never let them leave here,” said Jake, looking at Pecky.

“I’m getting to that. For the first few days nothing unusual happened. We were all trying to figure out where the chicks came from and what kind they were. Then the accidents started.”

Accidents?

“At first, we thought they were just that. Accidents. But then we realized that they were only happening to the gray chicks. We questioned everyone, trying to understand why.”

And?

“They all claimed they didn’t know and two of the newer people left before we could question them.”

“They left?” asked Jake.

“Yep. We tried to track them down but no one knew where they’d gone.”

But, if you can understand me, why didn’t you just talk to the other chicks?

“Because,” said Gilbert. “I only found out I could understand you when I got to the post office. I’d already switched the boxes out once. I couldn’t very well do it a second time without raising suspicion.”

Why didn’t you just ask the others when you got back to the hatchery?

Gilbert paused and looked directly at Pecky.

“Because, you were the only one left.”

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

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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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.