March 7, 2015 – With only 3 days left to “get out the vote”, my campaign team exploded into overdrive. Today, we attempted to garner publicity by holding political signs in support of my candidacy in front of the Town Hall. I suggested that perhaps the library might be a more suitable location, but I was outnumbered.
“We need to be in the center of town where the most traffic rolls through,” Sawyer advised.
She was right. The town was bustling with activity. It being Saturday, we watched a large number of customers enter the small store across the street and return with satchels brimming with chip bags and newspapers and six packs of beer.
“Is that our brand?” I wondered out loud, squinting to see the label from where we were standing.
“I hope so,” Wilma grumbled. “I counted eleven beer customers walking out of there in the last 20 minutes! Peaches, take Emaline and check it out. No harm in doing a little marketing research while we’re out here pressing the flesh.”
The two hens held wings as they navigated Main Street and pulled open the door to the small general store.
“I guess that answers the age-old question about crossing the road,” I laughed.
The others turned to me and stared.
“That kind of humor will lose votes,” said Addie seriously.
“Addie is spot on,” Charlotte agreed. “Eunice is trying to convince the humans that chickens are daft… crossing roads with no idea as to why. As if!” she sputtered indignantly. “We always know what we are doing and where we are going!”
Her comments were met with a rousing cheer from the others. I had no idea this election meant so much to my flock. I let my gaze linger upon the faces I so dearly love. They were all here showing their support. With each passing car, Sawyer and Wilma hoisted their homemade signs into the air proudly declaring, YOUR LIBRARY TRUSTEE SHOULD BE HAPPY! Tim, decked out in a yellow bow tie that he said represented Spring, crowed enthusiastically from the roof of the pickup truck. Waffles, Hattie and Betty, moonwalked along the edge of the street in synchronized perfection. They had taken days to work out all the kinks and now performed the dance move perfectly, receiving appreciative honks in approval. The Orpingtons were elegant in their finest pearls and pocketbooks. I was not at all surprised to see them pull out their long, white evening gloves before waving to cars as if the passengers were adoring fans trying to catch a glimpse of their royal coronation.
The girls from Coop #2, Maisy, Dottie, Kellie Pickler and Dolly Parton eagerly handed out fliers highlighting the issues. I had no idea until they told me, that the ladies room in the library does not have a nest box! As good as we are, we can’t always pre-schedule our egg-laying. When the urge washes over, it doesn’t matter where we are. If you see me batting my eyes while I’m standing at the circulation desk for example, step back, because sure as shooting, something is going to ricochet out of my lady parts. If I am elected, adding a nest box will be one of the first issues I address. That, and a milking station. It’s not all about poultry. Cows and goats like to read, too.
The bantams were there today… all eight of them. The signs were too heavy for them to handle, so on their own, they each spray painted a letter from my name on their stomachs. They looked so cute lined up in order in the bed of the truck. Three of them served as alternates, swapping places when one of the letters needed to rest. Even the ducks where here, holding signs that said, HONK FOR HAPPY, while honking themselves. Such a brilliant crew!
We hadn’t been standing very long when I heard whooping and hollering from behind. I turned to see our friends from Mrs. Turner’s farm cutting across in front of the bandstand. Gertrude the goat, Rosemary the dairy cow, Vivienne the pig… and behind them, 20-30 other animals from neighboring farms, all coming out to show their support. I was overwhelmed.
It was in that moment when I realized that this election isn’t about me saving the town from the likes of Eunice. It’s about giving a voice to those who aren’t always heard. It’s about taking a stand and speaking up for what is right, even if that makes you uncomfortable. It’s about quieting the bullies and championing the underdogs. I stood there for a moment taking it all in. These kind souls are my family. They are my constituents. They are the good citizens of this town who deserve a representative who will fight on their behalf.
I felt a surge of resolve pulse through every fiber of my being. A handsome couple walking their labradoodle approached and I stepped forward with confidence.
“Hello,” I said cheerfully, extending my wing. “My name is Happy, and I’m asking for your vote on Tuesday for the position of Library Trustee.”
Then, I handed them a complimentary plastic comb.