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    Spike the Amazing Chicken - by George Smith

    Spike the Amazing Chicken - by George Smith

    CHAPTER One

    TV Host: Good morning, kids!

    Welcome to The Cowboy George Show, the show from
    out West that brings you stories about interesting people
    and animals.
    I am Cowboy George, your host.



    TV Host: We are visiting a ranchette. Do you know what
    a ranchette is? It's a small ranch - not a lot of land, but
    enough to raise a small number of animals - and this
    ranchette has horses, a pig, goats, ponies, dogs, a cat,
    cockatiels, a rabbit, and chickens.
    Come on in, and take a look.



    TV Host: And, speaking of chickens, I would like you to
    meet Spike, our special guest today.
    As you can see, Spike is a chicken...
    Spike: And no ordinary chicken, either.

    TV Host: Yes, I mean no, not an ordinary chicken at all.
    As you will soon find out.



    TV Host: This is a picture of the family that lives
    here...Spike's family...

    Spike: My ADOPTED family! Everyone knows people
    can't have chickens as children.

    TV Host: OK, your adopted family. Here is your
    mother...I mean, your adopted mother... Janice, and your
    father Gary, and your sister Gianina and brothers Nic,
    Jon-Marco, and Zach.



    Spike: I don't like Zach.

    TV Host: Excuse me?

    Spike: I don't like Zach. He makes jokes about having
    me for dinner and...

    TV Host: Oh, I'm sure he's kidding. You know how kids
    like to tease.

    Spike: Yes, well I taught him a lesson.

    TV Host: How?

    Spike:Early one morning, just last month, Janice came
    out to feed the animals.
    When she went back into the house, she forgot to close
    the back door all the way.
    I nudged the door open with my beak, just enough to
    squeeze through, and went into the kitchen. I don't
    know where Janice was, but it was very quiet - everyone
    else was sleeping. Janice had set the table with bowls of
    cereal. I hopped up on the table, went right to Zach's
    bowl, and started eating his cereal.


    TV Host: Now, wait a minute. How could you tell which
    bowl was Zach's? Are you psychic or something?

    Spike: Well, I...

    TV Host: Oh come on!

    Spike: OK, his name was on the bowl. So I quickly ate
    his cereal - it was easy to pick up the chunks. Then I
    hopped down to the floor and went to the dog's dish.
    One by one, I picked up chunks of dog chow, hopped up
    onto the table, and placed them in Zach's bowl. I had to
    make several trips, but finally I transferred all of the
    chunks. Then I went outside and waited by the back
    door.


    Spike: Soon all the kids came down for breakfast. Zach
    looked at his cereal and said, "Hmmm, I guess mom
    bought a new kind for me to try." So he poured milk on
    his cereal, took a bite, and made a face. He added some
    sugar, tried another bite, and smiled. "This is pretty
    good," he said. The other kids listened, but kept eating.
    In my mind, I was howling with laughter - it's a good
    thing chickens can't laugh out loud!


    Spike: Then the dog came in, looked at his empty bowl,
    and started whining. Gianina said: "I guess mom forgot
    to feed the dog." So she poured some dog chow in the
    dog's dish.
    Zach watched her pour. "Hey" he said, "that looks like
    my cereal. It can't be!" He picked up a chunk, looked at
    it, smelled it, then tasted it. "Arrrgh! It's dog chow! Who
    did this?"
    The other children burst out laughing and started teasing
    Zach. "Hey Zach, let me hear you bark!" "Hey, Zach,
    don't wake me up tonight when you howl at the moon!"
    "Hey, Zach, want me to take you for a walk? I'll get your
    leash."
    "Verrrry funny," Zach said. "I'll remember this." I was
    laughing so hard, I had to hold my chest tightly with my
    wing to keep it from bursting. (Have me for dinner, will
    you... you've just been had by a chicken, I thought to
    myself.)


    TV Host: Very funny story, Spike. I can't wait to tell
    Zach.

    Spike: NO, NOOOOH, you can't! PULEEEEZE! I
    mean you wouldn't do that to a guest on your program,
    would you?

    TV Host: Only kidding, Spike. I won't tell anyone.
    Viewers, don't go away-we'll be right back with more of
    Spike, right after this commercial!

    Spike: Wait! Stop! That's a roast chicken in that
    commercial! How dare you! Get that off the air or I'm
    walking out of here! That's an insult to all of us chickens!
    Did Zach make you put that commercial on? That's
    outrageous!

    TV Host: Boys, pull that commercial, NOW! It's ok,
    Spike. It was on a seven second delay - no one saw it.
    Sorry.

    Spike: You should be! How insensitive! How would you
    like it if I made a commercial about a roasted TV Host?
    What is it with these commercials? - chicken, chicken,
    chicken! Last week my Uncle Henry disappeared. Maybe
    that was him in the commercial. How about picking on
    some other animal for a change, like lizards. Yes, a fried
    lizard sandwich. We have too many lizards out here
    anyway.

    TV Host: Forgive me, Spike. It won't happen again.
    Let's change the subject.



    TV Host: Spike, how did you get your name?

    Spike:Gianina named me. Look at me - do you see the
    gold colored feathers mixed in with the black? They look
    like spikes. That is how I got my name. Cool, huh?

    TV Host: Yes Spike, you are one beautiful chicken. (And would look very nice roasting in my oven, thought the
    TV Host.)



    TV Host: Spike, where do you live on this ranchette?

    Spike: Anywhere I want to.
    (This is a real wise guy, this Spike, thought the TV Host.)

    TV Host: Well, exactly where do you consider home?

    Spike: The chicken and goat pen over there.

    TV Host: Where the other chickens are?

    Spike: Of course. Haven't you ever heard the expression
    "Birds of a feather flock together"?

    TV Host: I take it you don't always stay in the chicken
    pen.

    Spike: I have the run of this ranchette - I go wherever
    I want.

    TV Host: But I see a fence and a gate. How do you get
    out?

    Spike: It's magic. I close my eyes, flap my wings three
    times, mutter abracadabra, and...

    TV Host: Oh come on, Spike!

    Spike:Okay. This is how I do it. See the wire fence? I hop
    up on the fence and scrunch my body to make it
    narrower. Then I squeeze through the fence and land on
    the ground on the other side.


    TV Host: Very clever. Once you get out, what do you
    do?

    Spike: I look for TV Hosts to interview me.

    TV Host: You're kidding!

    Spike:Duuuuh.

    TV Host: Duuuuh? That's a word humans use.

    Spike: Not anymore. Actually, there is something very
    important that I do before I get out. I'm the first animal
    to wake up, and the very first thing I do is wake up all the
    other animals. I don't believe in sleeping late - there is
    too much to do, too much fun to have, too much life to
    live! Besides... I'm hungry. So I hop up on the roof of the
    goat house and I wake them all up.

    TV Host: How?

    Spike: Like this: Cock-a-doodle-do!

    TV Host: But that's the sound a rooster makes, and you
    are a hen, not a rooster.

    Spike: Took me years of practice to get that right. Since
    we don't have a rooster, I'm it!

    TV Host: Does it work?

    Spike: Yes, it works. As you can see in this picture, all of
    the animals are awake...
    ...except...


    Spike:Hammy the pig.
    You know how pigs are - they like to sleep late, so
    sometimes I have to go over and peck on his tummy.
    When he wakes up, of course I run away.

    TV Host: Why do you run?

    Spike: Why do I run? There's 200 pounds of angry pig
    chasing me! Helloooo! But he gets over it as soon as his
    breakfast arrives. Anyway, they all wake up hungry.


    Spike: But, there was a problem - the kids were not
    coming out to feed us right away. We had to wait,
    sometimes for a long time. But then we figured out a way
    to hustle them along.

    TV Host: And how do you animals hustle kids along? I
    have kids; I've tried everything, and I can't get them to
    move quickly at all in the morning.

    Spike: All the animals got together and started calling
    them. Yesirree, can you imagine the noise that we made?
    Cock-a-doodle-do, cluck cluck, oink oink, neigh-a-a-a-a,
    bleat bleat, and woof woof, all at once? What a racket! It
    was enough to wake up the entire neighborhood! And
    the first few times we did it, it DID wake up the entire
    neighborhood! The neighbors must have called and
    complained, because, from that day on, just a few
    minutes after my Cock-a-doodle-do in the morning, one
    of the kids always comes out to feed THEM.


    TV Host: Feed THEM? You mean "Feed US."

    Spike: No, I mean feed THEM. Do you think a chicken
    with my talents would be satisfied with plain chicken
    feed?

    TV Host: Well yes, I...

    Spike: So, you think I'm a dumb cluck? That's it - this
    interview is over!

    TV Host: Quick boys, run a commercial. Wait, Spike!
    Please don't go. I apologize.

    Spike: First you run a commercial with a roast chicken,
    and then you insult me!

    TV Host: Please don't leave!

    Spike: If you will cluck for me, I'll stay.

    TV Host: We're on television - I'm a big star - I can't
    do that...! Why are you glaring at me? Ok... CLUCK!!
    Are you happy now?

    Spike: Yes - you can get off your knees.

    TV Host: How did it happen that you don't eat chicken
    feed?



    Spike: One day, I followed Jon-Marco to the back door.
    I watched the kids eating breakfast and, guess what? They
    don't eat chicken feed. I needed to try their food... but
    how? Ahhh, yes. Here's how. I stood outside the back
    door, clucking continuously and staring at them while
    they were eating breakfast.
    I repeated this for two more days. I knew they saw me,
    although they pretended they didn't. Well, on the fourth
    day, they had had enough. Gianina - she's the smart one
    in the bunch - guessed that I wanted some food, so she
    prepared a bowl of lettuce and bread and placed it on the
    ground. It tasted great! Much better than chicken
    feed!
    So now, every day, I go to the back door and someone
    brings me cereal or bread and lettuce or potato peelings
    or salad greens or dog or cat food or chocolates.

    TV Host: Chocolates?

    Spike: Not really - just wanted to see if you were
    listening. One day, they brought a boiled egg. Cluck - I
    mean - Yuk! It was awful! They saw me turn up my nose
    - I mean my beak - at the egg and they never brought
    an egg again. I guess they thought, if I laid the egg, I
    would enjoy eating it. Rawwwwng!


    TV Host: Tell me more.

    Spike: I think it's my duty to look out for the other
    animals - you know, make sure they are all right, not
    stressed out or anything.

    TV Host: I see - should I call you Dr. Chicken?

    Spike: Call me Dr. Spike. Open wide, and say, "Ahhh!" I
    SAID...

    TV Host: I heard you, and I am NOT going to open
    wide! We're on television - I'm a big star - I can't do
    that! What kind of stress do you mean?

    Spike: Like being in labor.

    TV Host: You mean giving birth?

    Spike: Duuuuh. Just last month, Nanny - she's a goat
    - went into labor. She was bleating pitifully - she was
    in pain - and she continued for a long time. I was
    worried. It was hot out there, and the family was staying
    in the house. I had to get their attention!
    I squeezed through the fence, ran halfway to the house,
    and stood there squawking as loudly as I could. I
    squawked and squawked until Janice came out to see
    what the problem was. I walked toward the goat pen,
    continuing to squawk, so she would follow me.
    When she reached the goat pen, she saw Nanny and
    realized that the goat needed help delivering her baby,
    and. a few minutes later, she helped Nanny deliver a
    healthy baby goat.

    TV Host: Oh, a goatee.

    Spike: Very funny.


    TV Host: You're a hero!

    Spike: No. I'm a chick...oh, I see what you mean.
    Hmmm... that explains why Janice picked me up, hugged
    me, stroked my feathers, and carried me to the kitchen
    where she gave me a special treat.

    TV Host: Well, kids, we have run out of time for today.
    Tune in tomorrow for the rest of our interview with
    Spike, the amazing chicken and her family. Bye.



    CHAPTER Two

    TV Host: Good morning, kids! This is Cowboy George,
    your host, welcoming you once again to The Cowboy
    George Show. Today we are continuing our visit to the
    ranchette where an amazing chicken named Spike lives.
    Oh, look - who is this coming toward us?

    Spike:It's Jon-Marco.

    TV Host: Hi, Jon-Marco. Come on over. Would you be
    willing to answer some questions?

    Jon-Marco:Sure. I always wanted to be on TV. What do
    you want to know?

    TV Host: Tell us some things about Spike.



    Jon-Marco:Almost every day, after breakfast, Spike visits
    the horses. On really hot days, she drinks from their water
    tub and stands in their shadows, where it is cooler. On
    rainy days, she stands under them to keep dry. Sometimes
    she eats their feed, but they don't seem to mind.
    Next, she visits the pig. Then she returns to her pen to
    visit the goats. And if her favorite goat looks like she is
    ready to take her nap, Spike takes her nap too... on the
    goat.

    TV Host: On the goat?

    Spike: Yes, on the goat... you don't believe me, do you?
    Look at this picture. See? I am standing on her
    back and, in a minute, I will squat and begin my nap.

    TV Host: How can you sleep on the back of a goat?
    Won't you fall off?

    Spike: No. The goat isn't moving - she is taking her nap
    too, and I gently wrap a few of her long coat hairs around
    my claws. Then I take my nap. You may be a big TV star,
    but you'll never have the pleasure of sleeping on a goat!

    TV Host: Mercy me! How will I ever get over that?



    TV Host: Tell us more, Jon-Marco.

    Jon-Marco: One day, I was sitting in the TV room,
    watching television. I heard the back door squeak as it
    was opened, and I heard a clicking sound as something
    walked across the kitchen floor. I knew at once WHAT it
    was - chicken feet, and I knew at once WHO it was -
    Spike. No other chicken ever comes into the house. I was
    curious to see what Spike would do, so I hid behind a
    corner of the couch and waited.
    Spike walked into the TV room, perched on the sofa, and
    appeared to be watching a TV show about animals. There
    was a lady grooming her dog, then a guy showing off his
    alligator. Then another guy appeared with two beautiful
    cockatiels.
    He talked about how great these birds were, while they
    perched on a small tree branch that he brought with him.
    When he finished speaking, the birds chirped and
    whistled, and one of them made a sound like a dog
    barking. The audience applauded enthusiastically. Spike
    threw a hissy fit. She squawked loudly and flapped her
    wings until the birds disappeared from the screen. Then
    Spike left the room.

    TV Host: Spike, is that true?

    Spike: Yes, it's true. There was this huge dog with a bow
    on his tail... I think his name was Chauncey Prince the
    Third, and this lady was grooming him.

    TV Host: With a name like that, he must have been a
    show dog.

    Spike: With a name like that, it should hide. Then
    Alligator Man fed his alligator - this ugly scaly lizard-like
    thing stuffing food into its mouth - worse than Hammy
    the pig! Totally gross!
    But what really annoyed me were these birds. They sat
    there doing nothing most of the time; then, made some
    noises, and the audience gave them this huge round of
    applause! For what? If that was talent, I'm a rooster! The
    things they put on TV! Terrible!

    TV Host: Well, not all TV is terrible!

    Spike: Oh really? Name one program that's any good!

    TV Host: This one.

    Spike: Ummm, yes, that's true. Especially today's show.



    TV Host: Jon-Marco, are there more funny stories about
    Spike?

    Jon-Marco:Yes. Another day, I came home and walked
    into the living room. Spike was sleeping on the horse. I
    couldn't believe my eyes...

    TV Host: Hold it! I can't believe my EARS. There was
    a horse in your living room? A horse?

    Jon-Marco: Yes. What's so unusual about that? This IS
    the West, and we do love our horses, you know.

    TV Host: Yes, but a horse in the living room? What a
    mess - your house must smell like a barn!
    Jon-Marco: Oh, it's not a real horse; it's a statue. And
    perched in the saddle, was Spike, fast asleep. Here - look
    at this picture. Are you with me now?

    TV Host: Phew!! You had me worried for a moment,
    but now I understand. I should have realized that this
    happens all the time in our country. I'm sure most of our
    viewers have at least one horse in their living rooms with
    a sleeping chicken in the saddle and...

    Spike:Get real with your humor. I walked into the house
    that day to see more TV, but the TV set was off. The
    house was quiet, and suddenly, I felt very tired - too
    tired to walk all the way outside for my usual goat nap.
    Besides, I always wondered what it would feel like to sit
    on a saddle. So I hopped up on the arm of the couch,
    from there to a shelf, and then onto the rear end of the
    horse. I walked to the saddle and sat in it. It was
    VERRRY comfortable, and soon I fell asleep. Could they
    let me enjoy my nap? Nooooo! I heard a noise, opened
    my eyes, and there was Jon-Marco taking pictures.

    TV Host: Well, you do make a handsome cowboy, or
    whatever you call something with a beak and feathers
    sitting on a horse.
    (I agree with Zach - she would look better on a barbecue
    grill, thought the host.)



    Jon-Marco: I have another one for you. One day, I saw Spike talking to a teddy bear. Imagine - Spike thinking a teddy bear was real!

    Spike: What!! I did not.

    Jon-Marco:Did too.

    Spike: Did not.

    Jon-Marco:Here's the picture.

    Spike: I knew it wasn't real.

    Jon-Marco:Did not.

    Spike: Did too.

    TV Host: Staaaaahp, you two, now! That's enough.
    Thank you for stopping by, Jon-Marco. We enjoyed your
    stories.

    Jon-Marco: You're welcome. Let me know if you need a
    host to interview rock stars or TV personalities - I'm
    available. Bye.



    TV Host: Spike, what else do you do?

    Spike: Lay eggs.

    TV Host: Lay eggs?

    Spike: Lay turquoise eggs.

    TV Host: Lay turquoise eggs?

    Spike: Is there an echo in here? Yes, I lay turquoise eggs.

    TV Host: Aren't chicken eggs usually brown or white?

    Spike: Theirs are.

    TV Host: Whose are?

    Spike: My pen mates.

    TV Host: Why aren't yours?

    Spike: I am a CLASSIER chicken. Look at me: I have gold colored feathers among the black, and I can crow like a rooster. So why should I lay ordinary eggs? Look at these.



    TV Host: I'm convinced that you're not an ordinary
    chicken, but I'll bet even YOU aren't perfect. You must
    have gotten in trouble for doing something wrong
    sometime in your life.

    Spike: Not me. I'm perfect.

    TV Host: Aw, come on, Spike.

    Spike: OK, I'm not perfect. The cat got mad at me once.
    The family left on vacation and the person who came to
    feed us didn't realize that I didn't eat chicken feed. I was
    hungry and didn't know what to do, so I walked around
    to the front porch and smelled something really good. It
    came from the cat's dish. I ate most of it.

    TV Host: Where was the cat?

    Spike: Who knew? Who cared? He wasn't there. Finders
    Keepers.

    TV Host: How did he find out that you ate his food?

    Spike: I made a mistake - I tripped and lost my balance,
    and accidentally stepped in the cat's dish and left a claw
    mark in the food. No other animal leaves a claw mark like
    a chicken, so he figured it out.


    TV Host: What did he do about it?

    Spike: Hung out by his dish each day, waiting for his
    food, and then ate it right away.



    Spike: Which reminds me...I got in trouble for some
    other some claw prints.

    TV Host: Really.

    Spike: One day, I walked around to the front porch and
    there was a tile man spreading this gray gooey stuff and
    carefully placing some tiles in it. I had never seen this
    before, so I came closer to watch. When he saw me, he
    waved his arms and yelled to shoo me away. It
    worked...or so he thought. He should have realized with
    WHOM he was dealing!
    Anyway I came back after he left, walked across the porch
    on the tiles, and then I stepped in the gray stuff. My foot
    sank in; it felt cool, and when I removed my foot, guess
    what? There was a perfect claw mark, a true work of art,
    so I made some more claw prints. They will stay there
    forever as proof that Spike was there.



    Spike: The next day, Gary came to my pen. He glared at
    me, grabbed me, and carried me to the front porch. He
    held my head down close to the claw prints, so I could
    see them. Then he stood and pointed his finger at my
    face, and said in a loud voice, "Bad chicken! Bad chicken!
    Bad chicken!" The kids heard this and came running to
    the front door; and when they figured out what I had
    done, they started laughing hysterically and yelling "Bad
    chicken!"
    Then Gary realized how funny he looked yelling at a
    chicken and he started laughing too, and let me go. But,
    I'll tell you - if I had the chance, I would do it again!



    TV Host: Very entertaining. Well, it seems that you have
    told us about each member of your adopted family except
    for Nic. Anything you want to tell us about Nic?

    Spike: Oh yes, Nic...I like Nic best of all. He always
    handles me gently. He has an egg business, you know -
    I think he supports the whole family - and every day,
    he comes to collect our eggs, and everyday, I have one for
    him. Oh, look - there he goes now to make his
    deliveries.
    He makes a big fuss over my eggs because they are
    turquoise. I heard him tell Janice that mine are more
    valuable.



    Spike:And one more thing - the best of all. Nic is the
    only one who knows how to put me to sleep. I love it.

    TV Host: How do you put a chicken to sleep?
    Hmmm...let me guess. You put on soft music, feed it
    milk and cookies, and sing to it.

    Spike:Your humor is so corny you should be on
    televis...oops, you already are.
    Anyway, he tucks my head gently under my wing, folds
    the wing over my head, and gently rocks me back and
    forth, and, before you know it, I am feeling drowsy, and
    then I fall asleep. It's awesome!



    TV Host: Well Spike, this has been one of the best
    interviews I have ever conducted on The Cowboy
    George Show. Thank you for allowing me to interview
    you, and I wish you the best of cluck - er - luck.

    Spike: Thank you too. I enjoyed it, except for the
    chicken commercial.

    TV Host: Be sure to tune in next week at this time when
    we will interview a little red boat about its journey down
    a Maine river. This is Cowboy George signing off.




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