September 10, 2014 – We set out early this morning to make our beer deliveries. First, to the bowling alley, then to Red Dog’s Bar and Grille, then The Hardtack Tavern, and finally, Millie’s General Store. We went about our business at a brisk pace as Sawyer is molting and shouldn’t be seen in public. An exception was made for this trip since it represents revenue for the flock, but great care was taken for her not to be seen by any human we did not know.
When we reached the last town, Cranberry Cove, we took the first right onto Lighthouse Road which led us into the center of town. There was quite a bit of foot traffic on the narrow, cobblestone street despite the fact that fall is on our doorstep and school is back in session. I pulled the truck into a space directly in front of J.J. Polks Haberdashery and turned off the engine.
“Well,” I said turning to Tim. “This is it. Are you ready to purchase your first necktie?”
He was so nervous that he forgot to breathe. He passed out and fell to the floor. Sawyer pulled him up by his tail feathers and revived him by pecking him in the head.
“It’s going to be fine,” she said to him dusting him off with a red handkerchief. “I’m going to stay here and read my book,” she continued, “but you and Happy take your time. Pick out something smashing to start your new collection!”
Tim gulped and followed me out the door. The clothing store had a masculine feel with heavy maple armoires and tables set upon a wide plank floor. Dress shirts and sweaters were thoughtfully arranged in the front, followed by racks of neatly pressed suits and a full wall dedicated to hats. We passed a basket of dress socks and three full aisles of shoes, clearly meant for men of great importance.
“I’m thinking this is way out of my league,” Tim whispered as we ambled deeper into the establishment.
“Nonsense!” I replied. “This haberdashery is meant for the well dressed male; one who appreciates fashion. You, my friend, were meant to be here. Look, the ties are straight back by the walking canes.”
There were a lot of them alright. One in every color imaginable. Some were solid, some were stripes. There were ties with funky designs on them and ties with polka dots. They even had short ties shaped like the number 8!
Tim was overwhelmed.
“What do you think of these?” I asked holding a little purple one up to my neck.
“I think you have to be a bow tie sort of guy,” he responded. “If I were headed out to a fancy event I might wear one, but otherwise, I think I like the longer ones better.”
I watched him walk around the display, carefully considering each tie individually, fully engaged in appreciation for the interesting fashion accessory. Finally, his eyes settled on one that was pale yellow.
“I love this,” he said reverently. “It reminds me of being a newly hatched chick when everyone was even.”
He held it out to better catch the light. “Yes. This is the one.”
“It’s a beauty alright,” I said cheerfully. “You look like a million bucks already!”
Tim selected one more before we left the store. A cobalt blue stunner with dazzling stars splattered all about.
“I’ll wear this one in the truck,” he laughed. “It’s almost the same shade!”
“Thank you for your purchase today, sir,” said the cashier handing Tim a brown paper bag. It had a bowler hat on the front to match the impressive sign which hung over the door on the street.
I know he’s a bantam, but I swear Tim stood three feet tall when he left the haberdashery and jumped in the truck.
Afterwards, we had a lovely seafood lunch on a boulder overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I sucked in a lungful of salty air, enough, I hoped, to hold me until our next visit to the coast. Then we headed home before the sun set for the day. Tomorrow would bring another delivery run. This time at night, for we would be transporting our finest batch of moonshine yet.
I was pleased at all we had accomplished. Tim pulled his blue necktie out of the bag and Sawyer helped him with the knot. I have to say, accessories certainly make the rooster. He looked like a dashing gent indeed. We rolled down the windows to enjoy the fleeting ocean breeze as we turned and headed inland. We laughed, we sang. It was a lovely day; until I turned to look at the two passengers sitting next to me and saw that each was sporting feathery white eyebrows.
Oh no. Those were my feathers! I quickly stole a glance in the rear view mirror. There was a bald spot on the right side of my neck where the eyebrow feathers had been. It’s too early for me! It can’t be! Drat! I’m going to be homebound for weeks! Thankfully, our delivery tomorrow is at night. If I lose any more before then, I’ll have to borrow one of Tim’s new ties!
Oh, such is the life of a modern day hen.