Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 3

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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.

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 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!

Mischief Makers Day 20: Cat Ca-Choo!

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“Ouch! Get off my toe, Figgy!”

“I wouldn’t be on your toe if I could get through the window!”

Figgy and Pixie stood on the ledge outside the kitchen window, struggling to get inside. They’d flown back early to make amends for missing a night of mischief only to find their usual entry locked. 

“I guess we’ll have to use the cat door in the garage,” said Pixie.

Figgy froze. He was not a big fan of cats. Not only was he allergic, he had also had a terrible experience last season with Joe and Jake’s cats

Pixie noticed Figgy’s terrified expression. “It’ll be fine, Figgy. We haven’t seen any signs they still have a cat. I’m sure the door is old.”

Reluctantly, Figgy followed Pixie to the side door where a small flap allowed for cats, or elves, to come and go as they pleased. 

It started as soon as they were inside the garage.

AACHOOO!

“Hm. I guess I was wrong. They still have a cat.”

“MEOW! PRRRRR!”

“Er, three…four, five. Wow, there must be at least–.”

AAAAACHOOOOO!

“Ab dozen. Ab dozen cabts.”

“Oh. That makes sense. One for each kid. C’mon Figgy, let’s get you out of here.”

They pushed and prodded the door into the house until it finally gave way. Figgy tumbled into the hall covered in cat fur and sneezing.

“Poor Figgy,” sighed Pixie. “Did you bring your elfie pen?”

“Nohl. I porgot ibt.”

“Iced chocolate covered cherries dipped in sprinkles and drizzled with syrup then.”

“Bwhat? Dats not ab cure.”

“I know,” smiled Pixie. “But it will be a great pre-game snack!”

While Pixie busily made them a midnight snack, Figgy, miserable and sneezing, looked around trying to find the best place to set up the glow balloon forest. Something seemed…off. 

“What are you looking at, Figgy?” Pixie floated down to the floor next to Figgy, a small tray of chocolate covered cherries in her hands.

“Do you see anything…different?”

Pixie looked around and had the same feeling that something was not quite right in the living room. “I hear a rattling sound. Do you hear that?”

Figgy nodded. “Yes. What could it be?”

RRRUMMMBLLLE!

The elves turned in the direction of the sound and saw an avalanche pom poms bursting out of the tree. 

“RUUUN!” shouted Pixie. 

Too late. In a matter of seconds, the elves were covered in pom poms of every color and size. A small chorus of voices echoed from a recordable ornament under the tree. 

Welcome back!

The movie was really funny! 

But please…NEVER LEAVE US AGAIN!

Mischief Makers Day 19: Breakfast Bonanza

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“But, it’s Joe’s birthday! We have to at least try!”

Pixie, Figgy, Nim and Lil sat around the table in the Elfeteria eating a midnight snack of Sugary Frosted Syrup Bites and trying to figure out how to be in two places at once. 

“We could split up,” said Figgy. “Pixie and I could go to Joe and Jake’s and you two could go to the Malloy’s.”

Nim huffed. “And let you guys have all the fun setting up the pancake breakfast for Joe’s birthday? I don’t think so!”

Lil nodded in agreement. “They were our first assignment.”

Pixie scowled. “They were our first assignment too! And what’s more…I’M the Birthday Elf!”

“Listen here…”.

“Don’t you dare…”.

“If you say that again…”.

“Ho, Ho, HO!” The bickering elves did not hear Santa until he stood at the head of the table. He looked at each elf in turn. “There is a solution where all of you can go wish Joe a Happy Birthday.”

“There is?” they asked in unison.

“Yes. Drop by the Malloy’s and leave a note explaining your absence. Leave them a special craft or movie or treat. Then, you can all go to Joe and Jake’s for the traditional birthday breakfast.”

The elves were silent. 

“I guess that could work,” said Nim.

Lil rolled her eyes. “Now why didn’t we think of that!” 

* * *

“Shhh!” 

“Ouch! Get OFF my feet Figgy!”

“Guys, be quiet!”

“Yeah, we’re going to wake them up and ruin the surprise!”

After a quick stop by the Malloy’s to drop off a note, a treat and The Christmas Story for the kids to watch, the Mischief Makers zipped to their old stomping grounds to set up the world’s best pancake breakfast. 

Lil pulled out a clipboard. “Ok gang! Pancake batter?”

“Check!” said Pixie.

“Maple syrup?”

“Check!” said Figgy.

“Chocolate syrup?”

“Check!” said Nim.

“Hot sauce and lemon pepper?”

“Er…are you sure about those, Figgy?” asked Nim. “They don’t really go with pancakes and sausage.”

Figgy squinted at Nim. “We all agreed to put Joe’s favorite things on the pancakes, didn’t we?”

“Yes, but—”.

“That means all his favorite things.”

“Oookay. I’m pretty sure we have everything then.” Pixie interrupted. 

“Alright! Places everyone!”

Each elf wrapped around the light fixture holding balloons and a birthday banner with big smiles on their faces. They’d made it in time to help Joe celebrate his 11th birthday.”

“I hope the Malloy’s aren’t too upset,” said Nim.

“Nah, we left them a movie and lots of snacks. I’m sure they’re fine. Right, Pixie?”

“Er, yeah.” But Pixie had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Somehow, she didn’t think they were fine with them missing a night. 

Not at all.