November 18, 2013 – The Orpington ladies invited us over for lunch this afternoon. Wilma decided to stay behind so as not to miss today’s episode of “As the Hen Lays”, but Sawyer and I graciously accepted the invitation. Sawyer made a lovely carrot cake and I brought a yoyo. We entered the henhouse and immediately noticed a stuffed animal of impressive girth sitting on a table in the center of the coop. I raised an eyebrow to Sawyer who shrugged before accepting a cracker from Peaches that had been spread with worm pate and topped off with a smudge of pimento. No one spoke of the unusual centerpiece, though it stood squarely in my line of sight no matter where I turned my head. One might have considered it rude to ask, but I simply couldn’t take the suspense any longer.
“Alright everyone,” I announced bluntly. “Can we address the elephant in the room?”
Charlotte started to chuckle. “Oh, Happy, you always make me smile.” She walked over and petted the furry gray thigh of the stuffed pachyderm that towered over her head. “This,” she said, “is a gift we received for making a sizeable donation to the World Wildlife Conservancy. It’s an African Elephant.”
Sizeable donation…? I have all the money we’ve raised so far from the beverage business in the floorboard safe of coop #3. They wouldn’t…
Addie noticed the look of concern on my face. “Not to worry Hap,” she said. “We didn’t cut into the family’s retirement fund. We donated a crate full of knitted sweaters and hats for their annual fundraising event.”
I felt a pang of shame for questioning the motives of my friends but that disappeared when Violet brought around a tray of spaghetti.