WIPpet: More Chickens

I almost forgot! But here I am with another WIPpet.  In case you’ve forgotten over the last 3 weeks, this is a little bit of our works-in-progress.  Add your own here, and don’t forget to read the other wonderful entries!

Today, I have 14 lines of dialogue (because this is the first WIPpet of 2014).  Just for context, my main character, Phin Patterson, is an educational consultant.  He’s observing classroom practices of a school in a small town in the Southern Tier of NY.  In this scene, he’s observing a lesson in which a kindergarten teacher has read a story about a woman who rescues chickens and has a couple as pets.*  She’s given her students a related activity, and Phin finds himself drawn in and paired with an enthusiastic student.

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By Kate Sheets from Izmail, Ukraine (Fuzzy Chicken) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“You can be my partner,” she informed him.  “Ms. Scuderi says everyone participates, even if it’s just a picture.”

Startled, Phin replied, “All right. But I’ll need a pencil. Do you have an extra?”

The girl pointed to a cup on the table. “There’s some in there.” She leaned a little closer and said in a loud whisper, “They’re for people who don’t remember to bring one.”

When they had finished, the girl examined Phin’s work and said, “You draw pretty good.”

He smiled. “I’ve had a lot of practice.”

“Does your chicken have a name?” the girl asked.

“Hm…I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I didn’t give him one.”

“Are you sure it’s a him? Because I think it’s maybe a girl chicken. It doesn’t look like a boy.”

Phin laughed. “You got me. Maybe it is a girl. What should we call her?”

The girl looked thoughtful. “Dandelion,” she said.

“Dandelion?”

“Yeah. Look, she has one of those fuzzy heads, like the one in the book. It looks like a dandelion.”

“Sounds good.” Phin took his pencil and wrote on the lines below the picture, “Mr. Patterson and his pet chicken, Dandelion.”

The girl giggled. “Good job,” she said.

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*The book is real.  It’s called City Chickens, by Christine Hepperman.  I’ve read it with my own daughter.

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6 thoughts on “WIPpet: More Chickens

  1. Great child’s voice. And what a cute chicken picture! We had two Rhode Island Red roosters once. A friend’s daughter picked them up at a rummage sale. They were just chicks when she took them home. Problem was, my friend couldn’t keep them so…yeah…they came to live with us. Very well-mannered for roosters, I must say.

  2. After all the places where Phin had clearly been so obnoxious, it’s nice to see his softer side. I get the impression he really WANTS to help kids, but now he’s going to learn how….

  3. Fun! My grandfather used to be something like an educational consultant.

    I may have to go check out that book. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to read and there’s a lady in our neighborhood who keeps hens, so she may be willing to do a presentation. 🙂

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