CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK!!!
Nervousness swelled up inside Freckles Silver-Laced Wyandotte's chest as she stood in the front of the cafeteria. It was her first day at her new school, Shawhan Coop High. The day had been awkward enough, and now she had to face her biggest challenge yet as the new chick in town...lunch. The cackle of the crowd in the lunch room did nothing to override the thudding of her heart. I can't just stand here forever, Freckles thought to herself as she looked nervously about the room for an empty roost. I'll be made fun of for sure. Everyone will call me a geek!
"Hey Freckles..over here!" Freckles turned and saw a wing waving her toward a vacant roost. It was next to a chick named Hannah Jo. Freckles also saw another chick she had seen in her nesting class; she thought the other chick was named Blanche. Relief coursed through Freckles' legs as she waddled over to the table, thankful to have dislodged her feet from their home on the cafeteria floor.
That evening Freckles clucked excitedly as she told her parents about the new schoolmates she had made. She went to sleep with a smile on her beak and dreamt of her new best friends.
The next morning, Freckles felt 100 percent better about the day and her new school. Sure she was just a Freshman, but at least she had some friends and wouldn't end up alone. Confidence soared through her veins...the next four years at Shawhan Coop High were going to be great!
Today at lunch time Freckles walked steadily in the direction of her new table where her new friends sat roosting and waiting for her when she heard someone else call her name. Turning she saw Henrietta, Smirnoff and Prissy motioning her toward their table. Freckles gulped and smiled tentatively...those hens were SENIORS...what did they want with her?
"Freckles...come sit with us today." Prissy said and motioned to the only available roost at their table.
Frantic ran rapid in Freckles...yesterday Hannah Jo and Blanche had filled Freckles in on the popular clique everyone at Shawhan Coop High called The Artificals or The Arties for short. Apparently they were so popular, but no one really liked them due to their fakeness.
Prissy was the leader of the group. She was shallow and stole other hens' boyfriends....there was even a rumor circulating that Prissy had dated a married man!
Smirnoff was a lush who everyone said kept her favorite beverage, Smirnoff Strawberry Aci, in her water bottle...and Henrietta was just a Prissy follower. A minon.
"Well are you coming or not?" Prissy asked.
"Sure..OK." Freckles looked over her shoulder and shrugged at Hannah Jo and Blanche's confused expressions. She would have to explain later that she was nervous and definitely didn't want to get on Prissy's bad side.
"Eww!!!" Henrietta shrieked.
"What?!" Freckles asked and looked around...did someone puke?
Henrietta pointed a long flight feather at Freckle's tray. Freckles was poking through the wiggling worm mess, trying to find a hair or something gross, but coming up short when Prissy explained, "Oh, we don't eat school lunch. It's not environmentally friendly...or something like that. If you want to continue sitting here at lunch everyday, you are just going to have to eat when you get home."
A loud grumble of hunger arose in Freckles' stomach as she pushed her tray away.
"Oh my gosh, I love your feathers! Where did you get those speckles?"
Freckles looked down at her white spots. "Um.. my mom and dad..."
"I have white speckles too...don't you love them?" Prissy asked and Freckles couldn't believe it, but she could tell Prissy expected an answer. "They're beautiful." She agreed.
"I know, right!"
"Oh my gosh you guys, look who it is! It's Fanny-No-Feathers!!!" Smirnoff clucked loudly and all three Arties fell into a hysterical bought of laughter. Of course the rest of the cafeteria noticed what they were doing and who they pointed to and then joined in.
Freckles had been filled on Fanny the day before as well. The poor girl had a ruff bought of molting and had re-grown all her white feathers...all but her tail feathers. Now she looked like a giant marshmellow running around school and was picked on daily. And no one picked on her harder than the Arties.
Dread filled Freckles. In 24 hours' time she had been low, felt higher than a kite and was back down to low again. She felt trapped. She couldn't just get up and leave the Arties...she would become their new victim...but she wasn't comfortable sitting there and hanging out with them either.
What's a chick to do?
This is basically the scene inside the coop every night since we inter grated the two flocks. See all the empty space... Flock 1 hogs the roost... (Please don't report me...I know they still have bald spots on their backs...I think it's a molt)... This is the popular table.
With the exception of a few "cool" newbies, the older girls definitely get the good seats for the night. I believe this has something to do with the poultry pecking order. I think I read somewhere that hens higher on the totem pole will roost higher than their lower peons...but I'm not 100% sure on that.
The chicks who are neither popular nor nerds sit on the nest box railing.
The nerds of the coop sit on the angled roof of the nest box. It can't be comfortable...slipping and sliding down the sloping surface all night.
The cool kid sits in the window, if you can see her...so she can blow her cigarette smoke out and not get caught smoking in school. I should report her...it's illegal in the state of Ohio to smoke in buildings....
...cluck... cluck... cluck...