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Story: Who's A Chicken?

Tell the following tale while drawing lines on the board or paper.

Dave's cousin Steve had just arrived from Ohio on his first visit to the Big Texas ranch that Dave's family owned, and Dave was showing him around.
“Wha'ts that funny-looking thing on your barn?” asked Steve.
“Haven't you ever heard of a brand?” teased Dave?
“Well, sure,” replied Steve, “ I just can't figure out what it is. It looks like a very tired 'V' to me.”
“That's exactly what it is!” laughed Dave. “The name of our ranch is the Lazy V.”

“You're here for one of my favorite times,” Dave went on. “Tomorrow the cowboys start bringing the cattle in for branding. They herd them right into that pen over there,” he said, pointing to a large fenced area beyond the barn.

“Tomorrow it will be filled with cattle,” continued Dave.

“Wow!” exclaimed Steve. “It's so big! And what's that thing right in the middle?”
“That's the watering trough, and you can help me with my chore of carrying water to fill it so the cattle will have enough to drink.

“Gee, can I?” asked Steve eagerly.
“Sure can,” drawled Dave with a grin. “Each day we have to the well over there….

….fill buckets with water, and carry them back.”
“Is that the only chore you have around here?” asked Steve.
“Oh, no,” answered Dave. “See that garden over there? That's Mom's vegetable garden and I have to weed it every summer.”
“That's the biggest garden I ever saw!” Steve exclaimed, as he looked at row after row of plants.

“Now I want to show you the very best thing about this entire ranch,” said Dave excitedly, leading Steve into the barn. Steve didn't know it, but Dave's parents had given him a pony for his birthday the month before. Dave had named him Sundance and would have stayed on his back all day and all night too, if his parents would have let him.
“Wow,” whispered Steve. “Oh he's beautiful. May I ride him?”
“Sure, just climb up behind me,” agreed Dave, and he very carefully rode Sundance around the yard.

“This is great,” said Steve, “but can't we go farther?”
“No,” replied Dave. “My folks have said I can only ride him right around here.”
Dave's older brothers thought this was very funny, and every time they saw Dave riding in his little circle, they would laugh and holler, “Chicken! Little Davey Chicken!” This really made Dave mad.
“Someday you won't call me a chicken!” he would yell back at them. Dave didn't know it, but that day was going to come sooner than he ever dreamed it would.
Within a few days, the branding was all finished. “What happens now?” asked Steve.
“The cattle have to be driven to the railroad station,” replied Dave. Dave's father, his brothers, and all the other cowboys got ready to leave. They had to drive the cattle across the river and over the mountains to the southern part of the ranch.

As the two boys watched them leave, Dave remarked, “I'm sure glad you're here, Steve, to stay with me.”
“Too bad we couldn't go along, though,” said Steve.
“Well, replied Dave, “Dad explained to me that they're going to go through some very rough country and he's afraid we'd slow them down. They want to get across the river before it gets any higher.”
Both boys looked up at the dark clouds in the southern sky.
“Sure looks like more rain coming.” said Steve.
Just then Dave's mother came running out of the house. “Dave!” she cried. “Dave hurry!” The boys ran to meet her.
“Dave, you'll have to catch your father and the others. I just got a call from the ranger. There's a flash flood warning … they could all be drowned!”
Dave quickly saddled up Sundance and headed south.

He finally caught up with the men, who were just in sight of the river.
“Dave, what are you doing here?” shouted his Dad.
“Dad, you can't cross the river! The ranger says there's a flash flood coming!”
“Darn! Guess we'll have to make camp here for a while,” said his dad. “Come on, son. I'll ride back to the ranch with you.”
So Dave and his dad headed back tot he ranch and found Mom and Steve waiting to meet them.

“Thank goodness you're both alright,” she sighed.
Dave's dad looked at him and said, “Well, Dave, you certainly surprised me. I didn't know you were such a good rider. If you hadn't gotten to us as fast as you did, we sure would have been in trouble. I am very proud of you!”
“So am I, son,” chimed in his mother.
“Thanks,” said Dave, “but it wasn't hard with Sundance's help.”
“Yeah,” added Steve, “and I bet your brothers will never call you a chicken again!”

farm/activities/who_s_a_chicken.txt · Last modified: 2020-05-09 15:02 (external edit)