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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)

TITLE: Mason Chicken Line
By Melinda Melton


The sun beats down on us as we drive across the county line. Although we have the air conditioner on high, sweat runs down our backs. I look over at the old Court House and admire the manicured lawn, the bright flowers, and the stone wall that surrounds the Century old building. Suddenly, a childhood memory floods back.

Sissy and I lay on a mattress in the back of the car. It was the middle of a hot summer night. Papa and Mama talked softly in the front seat as Papa drove down the country road. I looked out the window and watched the stars twinkle in the midnight sky.

The drought had been especially hard that year, so we were on our way to sell the chickens. I heard them scratching and pecking in their wooden crates that were strapped on top of the car.

I drifted off to sleep and later woke to Mama softly shaking my shoulder. Papa had stopped the car at the Mason County Court House to stretch his legs and eat an early breakfast.

As Mama got the food out of the picnic basket, I hopped on the bumper to look at the chickens. I stuck my finger in the crate and I guess the chicken thought it was a worm because it promptly bit my finger! I jerked my finger out of the crate and ran over to Mama. She kissed my finger.

After we ate our breakfast, we sat on the stone wall, looked out over the lawn, and watched the sun rise. I caught movement in the corner of my eye.

There were chickens everywhere! Nervously, I looked at Papa. He was looking beyond me with his jaw dropped open.

“You girls get out there and help me catch those chickens!” He said.

We were all running around the Court House lawn chasing those chickens. Feathers and squawks filled the air. Papa reached for one of them, missed and fell flat on his face. Mama tried to get one out of the flowers, hit a mud patch and fell on her bottom, crushing the tulips. I dared not laugh.

We finally caught all the chickens and got them back in the crate. Papa was furious and Mama was out of breath. Sissy and I were covered in dirt. I felt foolish for accidently unlatching the crate when I jerked my finger out of it earlier.

We got back into the car to continue our journey. I looked up at the rearview mirror and saw Papa looking at me. His mouth started twitching and he laughed so hard he had to pull over on the side of the road. We all held our stomachs laughing with tears streaming down our faces.

I pull myself out of the memory and tell the story to my grandchildren as we pass by. They double over in laughter just as we did so many years ago.

*Based on true events

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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 03/08/12
Definitely a story to be told for generations to come. Great job setting the scene. I felt the heat, and could see the twinkling stars, the crazy chickens, and feathers flying everywhere!
Cynthia Carter03/08/12
This was great. You were right on topic and it held me to the end.
Vicki J. Cypcar03/09/12
What a fun and descriptive story and with a very clever title.
C D Swanson 03/10/12

I just read this out loud to my husband...we are both laughing as I type.

Wonderful job with this delightful tale. I loved it!
We both saw the entire scene before our eyes. Nicely done!

This will remain a treasure within your family for all future generations. lovely!

I am still cackling!!!

God Bless~
Donna Wilcher03/10/12
This is hilarious! I loved every single word of it! And laughed till I cried! I knew what was coming and still jumped when the chicken pecked her finger.hahaha! Great story and perfectly told!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/10/12
First the title is a fitting Noel Mitxa award (if you don't know him, check out his many tongue in cheek play on words. This BTW is a huge compliment)There are stories in every family like this. They are just too great to stay in the past. You painted a great picture and had me giggling quite heartily. This story is the definition of predicament.
Danielle King 03/11/12
I chuckled at your chickens. I could picture the scene well as my father also kept them and we had our moments too. This certainly fits the topic and has a good ending where the whole family fall about laughing after dad sees the funny side. Well done.
Allen Povenmire 03/12/12
What a great story and a true family treasure, no doubt. Only comment I'd make is spice up the chaos of the chicken chase even more. It's a jewel of a scene, so milk it for all it's worth. Maybe mentioning the wild-eyed look on the chickens' faces, or the laughter of those standing around watching your family's predicament which only served to infuriate Papa even more. One short paragraph about the chase itself wasn't enough for me! Nice story.
Nancy Bucca03/12/12
I loved this comical little story about catching all those chickens. Glad Dad had a sense of humor.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/14/12
What a fun article. Your sensory descriptions were excellent.
C D Swanson 03/15/12