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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)

TITLE: Haughty in Fall
By Sharon Laughter
11/25/09


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Scritch, scritch. Truber hiked a knobby leg up while rowing his head foward and back, then strutted ahead. The tom’s white-tipped bronze feathers fanned as his massive chest expanded.

“Sardey, Letta, , gg-day, bbble…bbbble.”, he crooned. Jennies and hens gawked in worship. “GAWWWWBBBLE!” Truber sqawked, flapping his wings dramatically. The motion sent the bright red waddle under his beak swinging.

“Gracie, here’s your chance! Go on, now! Adell clucked, poking her sister’s wing determinedly.

“OWWWW! Are you crazy?” Gracie replied, flapping her now-smarting wing in Adell’s face. “I don’t want to garner the attention of Mr. ‘fancy feathers’! He’s too impressed with himself, which means – I’m SO not!” Gracie flicked the dirt with her beak and sent tiny pebble pellets sailing in her sister’s direction.. Scritch, scritch.

“You’re crazy girl. Well, if you don’t, I will! Look, he’s headed our way!” Adell gave her feathers, the color of muddy brown, a few quick shakes and arched.

Gracie huffed off in the opposite direction, filled with indignation. She trotted quickly, anxious to escape the barnyard drama. Well, look at that. Was that Giblar hulking under the barn eaves again? Even from this distance, his copper and turquoise hues gleamed. He was, in fact, quite fetching to the eye. Why in the yard would he hide in the shadows? Why wasn’t he there out-strutting the other tom’s, seeking the hens’ favor?

“Giblar, my seed and starters!” Gracie approached the turkey clucking kindly. “Whatever are you doing skulking here in the shadows?”

Giblar portended surprise at her presence, but had actually been watching the beauty for quite some time. She seemed different from the others, who only seemed intrigued by puffy poultry. He had watched her stomp off at her sister’s silly flirtations and pay no never mind to that “tot” Truber. Giblar felt his snood turn a deeper red. It may be too much to hope for, but he could easily imagine himself strolling wing in wing with Gracie through the warm fall afternoon. He would be content with the attention of this one hen. Unconventional thinking, perhaps. Could it be that she too was not too keen on following the feathers of convention?

“Oh, just hoping to garner the opportunity for a pleasant conversation with the most beautiful hen in the yard, gbbble, gbbble,” Giblar replied, arching one wing in a grandiose flair.

Gracie gave a firm shake to her tail feathers sending little puffs of dust off into the air. “Oh, Giblar, ggbble.”

“You won’t ever find me there, either,” Giblar sombered further. "The center of attention may not be all that desirous a place, after all.”

“Oh, Giblar, whatever do you mean?” Gracie clucked, craning her neck closer. Scritch, scritch.

Giblar peered intently into the hen’s black walnut eyes. “I’ve been thinking…. What color is it now?”

“Why, its orange, of course!” the hen exclaimed. Giblar was such a thinker and sometimes a little confusing.

It was true, Orange was the warning of the coming frozen rain from the sky. But right now, the fields beyond fairly glowed with the color from the rapidly growing pumpkins. Firey leaves shivered in the breeze and slid from the trees before swirling in bows to the ground. Of course, there were also the flickering bonfires that snapped in the night, sending a cadence of pops and crackles to dancing on hilltops and piercing the dark. Orange had its moments, indeed.

“And what happens in the yard during orange?’ Giblar clucked. “The toms prance around with their chests puffed out. The hens sway and swoon. Never,” Giblar lifted a wing skyward, “do they pay our Maker any never-mind! Then, one day, “ Giblar craned his neck, closer in conspiracy. ‘Swingers-of-the-gate’ come and grab the showiest turkeys by the neck. Do you realize, that after that we never see them again?”

Gracie shuddered. “Why not, Giblar?” she clucked, almost afraid of the answer.

“I can’t say for sure, Gracie. But I don’t think our Maker takes too kindly to all that strutting around. One day I heard a ‘swingers-of-the-gate’ talking about pride causing destruction and warning of haughty spirit in fall!”


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Lollie Hofer 11/27/09
Absolutely loved the last line. Good story with great insight.