July 14, 2013– It was a goal of mine this summer for the flock to attend a genuine county fair. I thought it could be great fun, but the Orpingtons vetoed the suggestion with a resounding “No-go!” due to, “The very real danger, Happy…” that someone could take us home by mistake in an illicit poultry exchange. My hope of watching Charlotte and Addie get dizzy on the Teacups wasn’t going to happen, but still the carnival called. My truest friends, Peaches and Sawyer agreed to accompany me. I know they did it more to keep me out of trouble than the opportunity to ride the Ferris wheel, but I wasn’t going to waste a another second debating this adventure. To ease any lingering fears of being swept up in a chicken trafficking ring, my accomplices and I wore fake mustaches. As luck would have it, we were able to hitch a ride on the tailgate of Mrs. Turner’s pickup truck. Each year, she sets up a booth with homemade pies and preserves. Immediately inside the fairgrounds, our faces were painted by a lovely college girl trying to earn extra money for a trip to New Zealand. How could we say no? She worked around the mustaches and painted each of us in the likeness of an animal found in Oceana. We had a wonderful afternoon! I beat the girls in the water pistol arcade and won a stuffed whale. Peaches lifted the mallet in an attempt to ring the bell on the strong-man challenge, and fell over backwards! Sawyer was incredible on the bungee cord ride, though she couldn’t walk straight for ten minutes afterwards. We went on every ride, ate at every food stand, and even had our pictures taken in the photo booth. We avoided the agricultural exhibits just to be safe. By the end of the afternoon, we were so exhausted that while we waited for Mrs. Turner to close up her pie stand, we took a nap among the hay bales in the bed of the pickup. I felt a twinge of shame knowing that Mom didn’t know where we were and was probably worried. I also felt bad that Mrs. Turner was unaware she had stowaways on her truck. I’m hoping the guilt goes away, because the memories we made today were incredible! Once we got home, we washed up in the rain barrel before joining the others in the chicken yard. We ambled in as if nothing had happened, until a very vocal, very annoyed Wilma ran over to us and squawked, “You went to the fair!” She might have noticed us missing all day, but how on earth did the Queen know where we went? That’s when Sawyer caught her reflection in the run mirror. “Uh oh,” she muttered. Peaches and I turned and saw the evidence clearly looking back at us. We were sunburned except for the parts of our skin that had been face painted. In the mirror, stood not three adventurous hens but rather, three oddly mustached representatives of the Animal Planet; a kiwi, a gecko, and a penguin. I see a long week of manure clean up in my future.
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