Mrs. Kimbell, the sixth grade teacher, gave the children a home project. They were studying about families and the importance that a Mother and Father played in each family. Some of the children were to prove that a family needed both parents. Some of the children were to research how having only a father would affect a family. Some were to research how having only a mother would. Allyson was in the Mother only study group. And so she went home to think about how to start such a project. In the morning, Allyson's mother sent her out to gather eggs from the hen house. As she did so, Allyson got an idea. A rooster only played a part with the family to fertilize the eggs. After that, he went about his way. But the mother hen, lay the eggs, kept them warm, and took care of the chicks after they were born.
Allyson gathered the eggs in the egg bucket, but held six of them back. She then placed some straw in a cardboard box and carefully put the eggs in. She then carried both the bucket and the box into the kitchen. She gave the bucket of eggs to her mother.
"Allyson, what are you doing with those six eggs."
"I plan to hatch them out for my school project. Where can I put them to keep them warm?"
"Well the motor on the refrigerator keeps the floor warm underneath. Why not put the box under the refrigerator?" So that is what Allyson did. She checked on the eggs each day, almost growing impatient with the wait. Twenty-one days later, the first egg showed a tiny hole. And then the others followed. Soon, all six eggs cracked open, allowing six bedraggled damp babies their freedom. The chicks quickly dried and fluffed out. The little girl then placed a bit of feed near them.
The chicks grew fast. Soon they had to come out from under the refrigerator. Allyson tried to take them onto the enclosed mud porch. But the chicks kept straying back to the refrigerator.
"Mom, why won't they stay on the porch?"
"Well Dear, I suspect they think the refrigerator is their mother," she laughed.
"But I wanted to be their mother."
Pictures were taken of the chicks huddled near the refrigerator, where they seemed happiest at night. Allyson kept very good notes on their project. Soon it was time for her to give her report to the class. When she showed the pictures and talked about the baby chicks refrigerator Mother, the entire class laughed. Mrs. Kimbell suggested a field trip to Allyson's home where they all could see what was happening.
Allyson's mother provided sandwiches and Lemonade. A tour was made of the small farm, and chicken yard. All in all it was a fun and interesting outing. Allyson received an A for her project. The chicks of course, were moved out to the chicken yard where they happily learned how to be chickens and not a refrigerator.
By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)
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