Thanks to Soap for submitting the words for today's illustration!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Farmer Tucker always boasted that he had the smartest chickens in the entire state. He said this as a joke mainly, because he used the hen house as a place to store all of the books he had collected over the years. Secretly, though, he thought that, just maybe, being around all of that literature did help the chickens win gold medals every year at the state fair, but he would never tell anyone that with any amount of seriousness in his voice.
It wasn't until the chickens ran amok and ate a good number of his stored books that Farmer Tucker noticed something strange. Late at night he would sometimes hear strange platitudes on the wind, like a whisper of advice about a fool and his money or getting up on the wrong side of the bed. He would dismiss it and turn over, thinking that he was just lonely out there on his huge farm with only his livestock for company. This went on for a few weeks and Farmer Tucker found himself thinking in idioms as he went about his daily chores.
All the while, his chickens were acting strange; they would be clucking away madly while he was out in the cow pasture, but the moment he even looked in their direction, all of the chickens would go quiet, face the same direction, and stare. Farmer Tucker confessed to himself that it was a bit unsettling, but he thought, again, that it must just be his solitary lifestyle getting the better of him. Well, that and all of those strange whisperings and creepy novels he had been reading recently.
The night before the state fair, Farmer Tucker was unable to sleep. Every time he found himself drifting off he would be awakened with a thought about a house divided that could not stand or blood that was thicker than water. He was starting to develop a cold sweat, a slight headache, and the shakes. He thought it was nerves, so he got up around two in the morning and thought he would get an early start on the chores, the first of which was to feed the chickens. As he made his way across the yard toward the hen house the words began to grow clearer and stronger in his mind; he had bitten off more than he could chew, he had looked a gift horse in the mouth, it was down to the wire, and drastic times call for drastic measures.
He scratched at the stubble on his chin, ignoring the words rebounding around the confines of his skull. He reached out for the door to the hen house, it was quiet except for a strange squishing noise. He thought, "I should go for broke and eighty-six the morning chores. I have a gut feeling that there is some chicken in here with an axe to grind and I should be head over heels with the idea of putting the pedal to the medal and going back to bed. He rubbed his eyes and thought he was being crazy, "Hold your horses old Tuck," he said to himself out loud without even knowing he had spoken, "no chicken would ever bite the hand that feeds it. Better get yourself together or the fair judges will think you aren't playing with a full deck."
Farmer Tucker opened the door and the sight that met his eyes completely blanked his mind of all thought and identity. There were his chickens all in a circle with a single chicken standing in the center. Every few seconds there would be a violent "hurk!" and words, plain as day, would spill forth from the chicken's mouth and splatter on the floor. After one particularly messy one, all of the chickens looked up at Farmer Tucker in unison. Nodding, he stepped inside the hen house and closed the door.