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Spike the Amazing Chicken

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Spike the Amazing Chicken

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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GRADE:4

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Questions and Answers Spike the Amazing Chicken

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Word Lists:

Squawk : (of a bird) make a loud, harsh noise

Turquoise : a greenish-blue color

Goatee : a small, sometimes pointed, beard.

Roost : a place where birds regularly settle or congregate to rest at night, or where bats congregate to rest in the day.

Bleat : (of a sheep, goat, or calf) make a characteristic wavering cry

Claw : a curved pointed horny nail on each digit of the foot in birds, lizards, and some mammals.

Insensitive : showing or feeling no concern for others' feelings

Lizard : a reptile that typically has a long body and tail, four legs, movable eyelids, and a rough, scaly, or spiny skin.

Beak : a bird's horny projecting jaws; a bill.

Commercial : concerned with or engaged in commerce

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Rating: A

Words: 4149

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