• Freedom To Peck
    By: The Robinsons

    Johnny Pecker, a runt of a chicken, squeezed through the wire fence that surrounded the henhouse, and took off with a sprightly bound across the yard. Mother had scolded him for pecking at everything in his path, including his twelve siblings, so he had escaped while his mother was napping drowsily on her new batch of eggs. Joyfully, he moseyed about until he came upon an enormous tractor tire, which he immediately began pecking happily. Losing interest in the tire, he proceeded toward the tool shed, where he hammered his beak on several rusty tools which were strewn carelessly on the ground beside the shed. As he was pecking away at the tools, he noticed a peculiar looking snake snoozing in the afternoon sun, and because of his curious nature, he decided to investigate. This was the life! How wonderful it was to be finally free of his strict mother and her lenghthy lectures!

    Cautiously at first, Johnny pecked on the snake because he wanted a playmate. As the snake did not awaken immediately, he began to peck even more insistently. Growing impatient with this slothful reptile, Johnny began to tease it rudely,"You are just as lazy as you are rubbery, and your head looks funny too!" When the snake did not respond to these taunts, he began to peck at its back more viciously than ever. Out of nowhere, a drenching waterspout rushed into his beak, causing him to be violently thrown into the air befor landing in a soggy heap.

    Running frantically, he sped to the henhouse where his mother was just awakening from her nap, which had been most refreshing for once, since Johnny had not been there to cause trouble. In a panic, Johnny rushed under his mother's stretching wings, relieved that he had not been killed by the savage beast, and had lived to see his dear mother again. Since he was soaked and hungry, his mother kept him by her side and fed him some warm cornmash. Gratefully, Johnny nestled beneath her cozy wings and watched his siblings play. He was even glad to leave them alone because he had learned a lesson about pecking on others. Never again would Johnny desert the henhouse, not even for freedom to peck as he pleased.