A croft stood in the middle of a grassy
meadow. Thistle blossomed along the sides of the dirt path that lead to
the stream. A few black and white spotted cows and woolly white sheep
were scattered about, nibbling on tender shoots of grass. It was
springtime. A small garden filled with tulips and daffodils grew outside
the front door of the cottage. Leaves were growing on the birch and elm
Cassidy, a chicken was
enjoying the warm sun as it beat down on her rusty colored feathers. She
was digging for some fat juicy worms and pecking at small seeds that had
fallen from the tall grasses. She was enjoying spring so much that she
didn’t notice how far away from the croft she had wandered and soon she
realized she was lost. All day long she ran about, looking for a way
back home. She couldn’t find the birches, the elms, or the stream, and
never saw a cow or sheep.
Night began to fall. The
skies darkened and the first stars came out. Cassidy needed to find
somewhere to sleep. She came upon an old helmet. It looked like it was
from the days of battle in old Scotland. It was a little bent in places
but good enough to roost in. It lay at the bottom of a tall hill and
seemed safe enough. She gathered bits and pieces of dead grasses and put
them into the helmet so she’d be comfortable.
That night Cassidy laid
her eggs. When the sun rose in the morning, bringing with it a glorious
new day, there lay half a dozen or so white eggs. Cassidy jumped up and
began to cluck. She was happy. She’d never laid that many eggs before.
She knew she had to keep them warm for a few days, so she only got off
her nest for a short time in the morning and in the evening.
The days passed quickly.
The sun rose over the heather-covered hills and Cassidy went off to find
some worms and bugs, leaving her eggs safely inside the nest in the
When she got back the
eggs were hatching. She ran around clucking madly with excitement as
each chick broke its way through the shell.
As all this was going on,
Cassidy noticed a few people gathering at the top of the hill, above the
nest. It looked like they were pushing a huge egg. The children had
baskets in their hands and were dressed in pretty frocks. They were
picking eggs out of their baskets and rolling them down the hill.
Cassidy ran over to one. It was broken in pieces and the shell looked
purple. Another egg rolled by and it was yellow. Still another, and
another, all different colors, rolled past. She could hear the children
Cassidy ran back to her
nest. They were all hatched now and chirping. Each chick was a fluffy
ball of yellow, just like buttercups.
She noticed the men at
the top of the hill getting ready to push the huge egg. Cassidy realized
that it would roll right on top of the helmet and smash her chicks. She
started clucking and flying about, trying to get their attention. But
they didn’t hear and pushed the egg down the hill. Cassidy ran back to
her chicks and wrapped her wings around them, trying to protect them.
She could hear the egg rolling closer and closer.
Just as the shadow of the
egg fell across Cassidy’s feathery back, someone grabbed the helmet of
chicks and Cassidy, and pulled them out of the way. The egg rolled by,
smashing the grass under its heavy weight. It rolled and rolled until it
smashed into an oak tree in the woods.
Cassidy looked up. It was
Mrs. MacDumpling from the croft. "Well, well, what have we here.
Cassidy, we were worried about you. I’m glad I found you and your wee
chicks. Let’s get you all back to the croft. It’s not safe out here on
Easter Sunday," she said, carrying them in her arms.
Soon they were all in the
safety of the meadow. Cassidy looked around. There were the elms and
birches and the stream. Her chicks were cheeping and trying to hop out
of the helmet. Cassidy let them play for a while and rested near the
helmet. She’d never forget that Easter day.