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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: Red Nettie of Sunny-Side Up Farm
By Beth LaBuff


One minute till the stroke of dawn
On Sunny-Side Up Farm,
Gizzard Rooster cocked one eye
Then crowed the morn’s alarm.

Now Gizzard’s beak had lost its tip,
His “cock-a-doodle-doo”
Instead, when crowed, it sounded much
More like a “toodle woo”.

And with this morning’s “toodle-woo”
The old ramshackle shed
Erupted in a chorus of squawks
And roused hens from their bed.

Then two and twenty chickens leaped
With four and forty legs.
Red Nettie was the youngest hen
She’d yet to lay an egg.

Today it was Red Nettie’s turn --
TODAY! … of all the days!
It’d be her first egg ever laid --
The hens would sing her praise.

And as Red Nettie set upon
the nest filled high with hay
Her hopes and dreams all centered on
The egg she’d lay today.

And there it was! -- Red Nettie’s egg!
...but something had gone wrong.
A hush went through the chicken coop
The hens cut short their song.

As each hen eyed Red Nettie’s egg
Old Gertie had a frown.
She clucked for all the coop to hear
“Red Nettie’s egg is BROWN!”

Old Gertie and the other hens
Laid eggs of purest white.
So with Red Nettie’s all-brown egg.
The hens received a fright.

A stop in egg production might
Result from Nettie’s shame.
Gizzard hoped this would not be
Or Nettie was to blame.

For every chicken worth it’s feed
Knows every egg should be
NOT BROWN, but whiter than the snow,
To this, they all agree.

And while they watched a fresh white egg
Came rolling into view.
It bumped into Red Nettie’s egg.
The fascination grew.

Both eggs began a sliding,
The white egg and the brown.
They rolled up to the corner’s edge
Then both came crashing down.

Two sounds reverberated,
The first was a small “smack”.
The second was much louder --
A resonating “CRACK”.

All hens then gathered ‘round the spot
To see what had become
Of two hen eggs-- one white, one brown --
The mess just looked like one.

A twitter chirruped through the coop
For there, near cracked egg shell,
Were two egg whites and yellow yolks --
No difference could one tell.

“White eggs, brown eggs -- they’re the same!”
Was Gertie’s proclamation.
Among the chicken-hearts was joy
O’er this new revelation.

The chickens’ song began again.
The celebration grew.
The loudest voice that could be heard
Trilled forth a “toodle woo”.

"The color difference [in eggs] is due to the specific breed of hen, according to the Egg Nutrition Center. Hens with white feathers and white earlobes will lay white eggs, whereas hens with red feathers and matching-colored earlobes give us brown eggs." …the color of the eggshell had nothing to do with the taste of the egg…the health benefits of brown eggs versus white eggs … concluded that there is no nutritional difference.”

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This article has been read 2592 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/08/07
This is a well written narrative poem. I like the humor in it. It is deserving of some cute illustrations.
Dee Yoder 06/10/07
A really cute story with a good moral at the end. Children would love this, and I agree; the illustrations would be wonderful!
Rita Garcia06/11/07
CUTE...CUTE TITLE! And the message is like icing on the cake!
Joanne Sher 06/12/07
This is absolutely DELIGHTFUL and wonderful for kids. I love this! One of my favorites this week.
Donna Howard06/13/07
Yes, a delightful story. I can see the horror on the old hen's faces when they see the brown egg, and the joy when they realize the eggs are the same on the inside. Wonderful message. Illustrations would bring the lesson out even more clearly. Good job!
Sharlyn Guthrie06/15/07
Beth, this poem is just adorable, and informative, too. Nice job! I can imagine how cute the illustration could be. Keep up the great work!
Kristen Hester06/16/07
This is too cute! I will definitely read this to my kids and they will love it. My son loves to learn all about animals so this is a two for one story! It's so cute and kids love things that rhyme. How was this not a winner? Great job.
Elizabeth Baize06/21/07
You did a wonderful job of making this educational for children as well as fun (with a touch of suspense.) I can definitely see how this one could be turned into a colorful picture book for a child.
LauraLee Shaw08/22/08
I just read this to my kids during our homeschool day. Lemme just tell you, it was a BIG HIT, and it had nothing to do with the fact that our math lesson got put on hold while we were reading it. (wink)
What a delight to read and extremely creative and entertaining.
Joanne Sher 08/22/08
Delightful story that I loved the first time, and love even more now. You are such a master of this style, dear Beffy! Thanks for playing at FF again :)