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The Most Extraordinary Farm
By Connie Janney
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Connie Janney
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt was a seemingly ordinary day on Hank and June Dooley's farm. On this day something new was happening in the mind of one of their animals that would really change the farm.
Hank and June loved their farm and took good care of it and their animals. There was a brick red barn, a vegetable garden, a small orchard with cherry, apricot, peach and apple trees. One pasture was the home to three cows and another pasture contained several sheep. There was a nice roomy pen for three pigs and a big chicken coop and yard for the many chickens and a rooster.
Hank and June worked hard every day tending the garden, feeding the animals, gathering eggs, making cheese, butter and yogurt from the cow's milk and taking the things they harvested and made to the local farmers' market. Once a year, Hank and June sheared the sheep and spun the wool into yarn. Then they dyed some of the yarn, and June knitted it into sweaters and weaved some into cloth. She also sold some of the yarn at the market. They had a very nice life, even if it was not very extraordinary.
Little did they know, however, that they had a most extraordinary chicken in their chicken yard. Her name was Harriet, and Harriet dreamed of colors every day. She loved colors-the bright spring green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the yellow of the daffodils, the brilliant red of the tulips. When there was a rainbow, Harriet forgot about eating and everything else to marvel at the beautiful colors.
On this day Harriet was looking at Ron the rooster and thinking how handsome and colorful Ron was. He was also a very good rooster. He awakened the farm at dawn every day and took good care of the hens and watched over them. As Harriet was looking at Ron and admiring how colorful he was, she wondered why all the chickens were either brown or white. She herself was white, but she yearned to be colorful. So on this day, Harriet was struck by an inspiration. She decided that she would be colorful, and she would do it by thinking about one color each week, and would go to sleep each night dreaming of that color. In other words, Harriet would use her imagination.
That very day, she started thinking about yellow. She looked at the yellow of the daffodils and envisioned her feathers turning that beautiful shade of yellow. She dreamed of yellow every night. At the end of the week, several of her feathers had turned yellow! She thought, "Wow! This is working!" So she started to think and dream about the red of the tulips, and sure enough, after about a week, several of her feathers had turned red.
The other hens in the yard always thought that Harriet was a little strange, always daydreaming, and now she had some yellow and red feathers! Perhaps she had some sickness that was catching. So they stayed away from her and gossiped about her. Harriet didn't care, because she knew that she was becoming exactly what she wanted to be-a colorful, beautiful hen.
Excerpted from The Most Extraordinary Farm by Connie Janney Copyright © 2012 by Connie Janney. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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