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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Food Fight

Aileen was a plump chicken covered with snowy white feathers. She lived in a village nestled among the trees in a lovely glen. Her chicken friends, Betty, Matilda, and Shannon, lived in the glen with her.

Aileen was feeling particularly hungry one sunny morning. "What shall I have for breakfast? Cluck! Cluck!" She looked on the ground for a fat, juicy worm, but none were to be found. A patch of golden sunflowers caught her attention. "Maybe there’s a caterpillar climbing on the stems." There were none to be found there either. "Hmmm, what can I have to eat? Cluck! Cluck!" Her tummy was rumbling. "Figs!" She ran through the vines of tomatoes and potatoes, nearly tripping on the thick and mangled cucumber vines that were growing near the fig tree.

Up in the branches she saw three very large and very delicious looking figs. She flapped her wings and flew up to them. She grabbed hold of the branch and pulled them off the three figs, clutching them in her wing. She started to climb down the tree, but slipped on a sticky leaf. She was able to stop herself from falling, but dropped all of the figs.

It happened that Betty had the same idea that morning and had wandered over to the fig tree. She was standing at the bottom of the tree trunk, picking a few figs off the ground. Splat! Splat! Splat! The figs landed on her head. Her glossy brown feathers were covered with fig juice, pulp and seeds. Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Betty wiped the mushy figs off her face with her wing. "Who did that?" She looked up suspiciously.

Watching in horror, Aileen gasped as the figs splattered all over Betty. She knew she’d better hide among the leaves. Fearful that she was going to be caught, she waited until Betty wasn’t looking, bounced off the end of the branch, and flew out of the tree. Desperate for a place to hide, Aileen ran inside Castle MacScratch and hid behind the ruins. She had no problem finding a fallen stone pillar to squat near.

Betty couldn’t see anyone in the tree, but knew that one of her chicken friends had dropped those figs on her, maybe on purpose. She walked around the trunk, picked up a few ripe figs and went to find the culprit. She saw some red feathers poking out from behind a plum tree. Matilda felt hungry that morning and had gone to pick herself a plum. "So there you are. Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!" Betty threw a fig at Matilda.

Matilda stood with bits of soggy fig dripping from her beak. "Who threw that fig at me? Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!"

Betty, seeing how angry Matilda was, dropped the other two figs, ran off, and hid inside Castle MacScratch. There were blocks of moss-covered stone lying among the thistles. It made the perfect place to hide. She whispered, "It must not have been Matilda who threw the figs at me. Ooops! I can’t tell her it was me. She’ll be furious."

Matilda was angry. Someone, for no reason, had thrown a fig at her. She wiped it off her face and flew over to the fig tree. She gathered as many as she could hold in her wings and flew high into the air. It’s very difficult for chickens to fly long distances and even harder when their wings are full of figs, but she was a determined chicken. She saw Shannon scratching in the dirt, looking for a worm. "She must be the one who tossed the fig at me. She looks very suspicious." Matilda watched Shannon for a while. "What is she doing?" Matilda wondered. "I’ll bet she’s looking for a place to hide. I know she’s the one who threw the figs at me." Matilda fluttered her wings right above Shannon and dropped the figs, laughing and clucking as they splattered on her head.

"Oooooh! Eeeeee! Aaaaah!" shouted Shannon as the figs ran down her face into her eyes. "Who did that? Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!" She looked in the trees, in the sky above her, and under the tomato plants. Matilda had already flown off and hidden behind one of the walls of the castle. "Someone’s going to pay for this," Shannon clucked and flew to the fig tree. After cleaning herself off, she gathered two wings full of figs and headed toward the castle. She spotted Betty hiding behind some stones. "She’s got fig stuck on her wings," Shannon noticed. "It must have been her." She threw several figs at Betty and shouted, "Don’t ever dive bomb me again, Betty. Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!"

Betty was shocked. "Of all the nerve," she said, folding her wings in front of her. She flew over to the fig tree and gathered all the figs she could find.

Shannon had a few figs left. When she saw Aileen sneaking around in the ruins, she wondered, "What is she up to? She probably helped Betty!" She threw the rest of her figs at Aileen.

Aileen, finding herself covered with sticky goo, flew over to the fig tree. The three other chickens were there, arguing and accusing each other. Soon figs flew all directions. "FOOD FIGHT!" Aileen shouted and joined in.

There were so many clucks, it was deafening. There was so much pecking going on and gooey figs splattering that Shannon couldn’t help but laugh. "Look at us!"

"We’re a mess," Matilda giggled.

"Look at my beak! It’s covered with fig. That’s so funny," Betty chuckled.

"At least we’re not throwing lemons at each other," Aileen chimed in. After apologizing, they gave each other some big chicken hugs. They flew down to the stream and washed the figs off their beaks and feathers. Everyone agreed it had been the best fig fight they’d ever had!

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