It was a surprisingly hot day at the Puyallup Fair when the incident happened. When Charlie Miller made her report to the police later, “incident” was the only word that fit.
She had just finished her third scone, this one dripping with butter and raspberry jam, when the man ran by her, screaming about a crazy post-partum chicken who had just tried to run him over with a disproportionately large tractor. Charlie hadn’t really paid much attention to him–it was the Fair, after all. Over a million people had been expected for this opening day, and Charlie was pretty sure she had seen every single person. Besides, tractors were the norm, and how big could the tractor be? Chickens were pretty small.
The Fair was jammed with little kids crying for caramel apples and Krusty Pups, people throwing up and teenage boys pretending they hadn’t just been scared out of their minds by the seemingly death-defying rides they had just been on.
But when a second, and then a third person ran past, and the third one was a woman with yolks dripping from her ears, Charlie began to take notice. She hurriedly shoved the rest of the scone into her mouth, took one last drink of ice-cold lemonade, and regretfully passed up the elephant ears booth on her way to make her report.
It was her job, after all. Charlie Miller may have looked like an easy target, standing just 5’1″ in her heels, and not a single, shiny black hair out of place in her elaborate hairdo. And to her kindergarten students, she might have been the beloved teacher who sang to them each morning, and brought homemade cookies for them for snacks, making sure to always have peanut-free and gluten-free treats.
But Charlie Miller’s side job, her real mission, was in her position as Short-Statured Egg Snatcher. Usually, the chickens didn’t put up much of a fight when Charlie snatched their eggs. But her partner, Nancy “Butterfingers” Lovelace had been on the job earlier. Oh, it wasn’t that Butterfingers was bad at her job, she just was…dexterity-challenged, and Charlie spent a lot of time cleaning up her mess.
Just then, the chicken drove by. Apparently, tractors can get pretty big–the chicken, dressed in a polka-dot bow, was a speck against the seat of the behemoth that rumbled past, slowly pushing its way through the crowds of people without regard for personal space, or toes.
She clucked as the tractor went past, and the chicken clucked back, an angry demand that she be allowed to roam as chickens were supposed to–high up on their tractor seats.
Charlie gave pursuit. It was the longest, slowest chase she had ever been on. Charlie had time to eat that elephant ear she had been craving, ride the ferris wheel, play an impossible-to-win game, and spin the wheel at the Mountain Mist booth (she won!) before the chicken atop its mammoth tractor had even gone ten feet.
Thanks, Julie, for your ideas! I’m flipping the contest. Now, I nominate Jim Martin to continue this story. The only rule is that the chicken eventually needs to end up by the quilt stands.