July 10, 2014 – Charlotte received a brown paper package today in the mail. It did not contain a return address, so she was rightfully concerned as to its contents. She brought it to me for inspection before opening it – just to be on the safe side.
“Curiosity is getting the best of me,” she gushed as she laid the box on a tree stump in our run.
“You were right to be cautious,” I said. “There are so many wacky individuals out there.”
I took my stethoscope and held it along a corrugated side listening for ticking or tocking or buzzing or whirling. Nothing. That’s a good sign, I thought. Then I carefully slipped a thin tube that had a flat round mirror at the end under the packing tape and gently swiveled its angle until I could see the contents of the box. Nuts. Whatever was trapped inside was wrapped in a large plastic envelope. Hmmm.
“What do you think it is?” Charlotte whispered over my shoulder. “Should we call a SWAT team and have them send in the little robot like they do on the crime shows?”
I held the box to my beak and took a deep breath. “It doesn’t smell bad, in fact, it sort of smells like soap.”
“Soap?” Charlotte echoed. “Let me take a whiff. You’re right. It smells clean.”
“Let’s open it,” I said bravely. “Maybe somebody sent you laundry detergent.”
“For what purpose,” Charlotte asked wearing only her feathers and a string of pearls. She had a point.
“On the count of three,” I said. “One…. two…. THREE!” We ripped open the box and pulled out the envelope. We felt it, shook it, and sniffed it again. “I think it’s safe to open,” I said finally, and handed it to Charlotte to do the honors.
She tore a hole in the plastic, then stretched it wide until she could make out the passenger hiding inside.
“Oh my, will you look at this Happy,” she said pulling out a t-shirt emblazoned with a rubber decal of a lion. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”
“Well, since I’m not very fond of felines, I’d have to say, YES – but to each their own. Is there a note inside?”
There was not. The only item inside the box was the shirt, which Charlotte had already slipped over her head. She ran to the mirror and twirled in delight.
“It’s absolutely wonderful!” she laughed pulling me into an impromptu hug. “I guess I’ll be needing laundry detergent after all!”
“It suits you… especially with the pearls,” I said, “but Charlotte, we still don’t know who sent it to you.”
“I know who it was,” she replied confidently. “I have a secret admirer!”
With that, she turned and waddled off to show her new shirt to the other hens. I went inside the coop to dig out my sleuth gear. Secret admirer, my fanny!