December 7, 2014 – What a lovely surprise I received today. A courier dropped off a dazzling holiday gift basket! It just so happened that I was in the driveway when he arrived, as I was on my way to the garage to look for a spool of string. (I saw a picture of a sailing ship made entirely from twine and thought I might give it a go.) The delivery man hopped out of his truck and said, (and I quote…) “Hello smiley!”
Smiley? I’ve tried to purse my beak into a grin many times, but I didn’t know until today that I was capable of actually smiling. What do you know! He then informed me that he had a delivery for, “Someone’s Happy… gee, I can’t really make out the rest of the tag. Anyway, the name on the shipping label is…”
I didn’t let him finish.
“I’m someone’s Happy!” I replied jumping up and down.
“Here ya go then!” he answered handing me the basket. “Do you have this alright? It seems too big for a chicken.”
I stumbled backwards from the awkwardness of the bundle. The handle of the basket blocked my view, but I managed to squeak out, “I’m good!” and thanked the friendly man for his trouble.
“Lots more deliveries today, or I’d have carried it for you myself,” he declared cheerfully. “It’s a busy time of year. Enjoy your gift basket, and Happy… whatever it is you’re celebrating!”
“You, too!” I replied, lowering my head so I could see him through the cellophane wrapping.
Sawyer came around the corner as the truck was driving away.
“Whatcha got there?” she inquired.
“Someone sent me a gift basket! Can you help me carry it to the coop?”
Together we hauled the exquisite gift back to our henhouse. It was so heavy, that we called into use, our seldom used pulley system. Sawyer steadied the basked on the ground while Tim, Waffles, Betty, Hattie and I grabbed hold of the thickly woven rope and heaved-ho. It was worth the effort! The basket was loaded with a smorgasbord of delights! Cheeses and sausage, fruits and jellies, pretzels and fancy soda crackers. In the middle of the basket, sat two bottles of red wine and four wine glasses. There were nuts and dates and… (I very nearly gasped), a small container of fresh lobster meat from Maine. Tucked next to that, was a small glass jar labeled, caviar.
After looking it all over, I decided it was best to share my surprise gift with the flock, so we pulled a wagon up to the people door and lowered the basket back down using the same pulley cable. In the garage we unfolded a table, tossed a green plastic tablecloth on top and went to town. It was the most delectable culinary experience I have ever had! (With the exception perhaps, of the chocolate croissants that Sawyer and I ate in Paris after we accidentally boarded that plane to France!)
“By the way,” Sawyer asked crunching on a soda cracker that was thickly covered with caviar. “Who was it that sent you this amazing gift?”
I had no idea! I was so taken aback by the enormity of the basket, that I failed to exhibit proper manners and acknowledge the identity of the giver. I searched the discarded cellophane until I found a white card printed with the message, Happy Birthday, Madeleine. You are the love of my life.
“Who the heck is Madeleine?” I asked no one in particular.
“Uh oh,” said Peaches, as she popped a chocolate-dipped strawberry into her mouth.
I looked around the table. Every container had been opened, including the wine bottles. We had thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected treat as proven by the empty jars and wrappers.
“I thought you said this was sent to you?” asked Sawyer.
“It was!” I replied. “The delivery man said it was in celebration of someone’s Happy. I’m someone’s Happy! Just ask Mom!”
“Someone’s happy birthday, you nincompoop!” Wilma roared just before helping herself to the last piece of lobster.
“What should we do?” I panicked. “We can’t put this back together, and I have no idea how to contact the truck driver or Madeleine! There’s no last name or address on the card!”
Charlotte, the most proper of all of us hens, set aside her glass of wine and proclaimed that indeed, we had not broken any laws of etiquette.
“You did not swindle this from anyone, Happy,” she comforted. “I’m sure that Madeleine is having a wonderful birthday with or without her gift basket. What we can do is locate the shipping company, give them a call and explain the situation. If they provide us with her information, we will make up our own gift basket and deliver it to her ourselves. We’ll include a dozen eggs, a six-pack of Happy Chicken Brewing Company craft beer, some knitted scarves and maybe a jar of your tasty worm jerky.”
That seemed like a reasonable solution. At least I felt better about the mix-up… enough to lick every last bit of blackberry jam from the fancy bottle it came in.
I hope Madeleine is having a good birthday wherever she is, and that she too, is someone’s Happy.