May 21, 2014 – We started making our packing list today. Dumpling’s assistant sent us an email with the itinerary. We leave one week from tomorrow! We’re so excited, as this is our very first vacation.
“We need a suitcase,” said Sawyer.
“No worries. I’ll ask Mom if we can borrow one of hers. I need to remind her about the trip anyway. Do you think one suitcase will be enough for all of us?”
“It should be,” yawned Wilma who was starting to doze in a patch of sun, “as long as we take just what we need and nothing more.”
“Maybe we should let everyone bring one extra item. Once we know what the list looks like, we’ll know if we need a second piece of luggage. I’ll call over to Coop #1.”
“Hap – use the tin can telephone that Betty and I installed this morning,” Waffles gushed. “It works great!”
“Alright,” I answered, impressed with the young hen’s ingenuity.
I placed the empty can to my ear and gave the line a tug. Within a few seconds I could hear Peaches’ voice at the other end.
“Hi Peaches!” I responded. This tin can telephone system was impressive.
“Hey, Sawyer and I are starting a packing list. We want to figure out how many suitcases we need if everyone brings one extra item. Can you ask everyone in your coop what they would like to pack besides the necessities?”
The connection started to get a little fuzzy, but I could hear mumbling at the other end which meant, I hoped, that Peaches was gathering the information I had requested. Before long, her voice returned bright and clear.
“Okay, Happy. Here’s the list. Addie and Charlotte are bringing peach preserves as a hostess gift to Dumpling. Daisy wants to bring her peanuts. Emaline… and I want to bring my stick.”
“What did Emaline want to bring?” I asked loudly into the can. “Your voice broke up and I couldn’t make out what you said.”
Sawyer, who had been dutifully recording each item as I announced it, put down her pencil.
“What did Emaline want to bring?” She asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I’m waiting to hear.”
“Peaches! Tell me again what Emaline wants to bring!”
The line crackled.
“Calphalon? She wants to bring a frying pan? Peaches, did you say Calphalon?”
“Autobahn…That doesn’t make any sense. We’re going to Canada, not Germany.”
Now Sawyer was on the floor in hysterics. I couldn’t even talk anymore. I finally gave up and walked the short distance to Coop #1 where Peaches was still standing yelling into an empty bean can.
“Peaches,” I called through the open window. “What would Emaline like to take to Nova Scotia?”
She stood back and looked at the phone, amazed with its sudden clarity.
“Her good luck charm,” she replied kindly into the receiver.
“And what exactly is her good luck charm,” I chuckled.
“It’s a little rock.”
And with that, our conversation was over. I watched my friend dangle the tin can on a nail in the wall and start eating pellets from the hanging feeder. I laughed and headed over to Coop #2 to ask the same question of the pullets. This time, the conversation would be face to face.