by Bessie Pedder
"Chow-Chow" was not a pickle, but a chicken, and a real funny
I made friends with him when he was no bigger than a robin.
He was an only child; of course his mother had enough to do to
pet and fuss over him. But he would leave her any time when we
called "Chow-Chow." We gave
him this funny name because he
was a great talker. All he said was
"C-h-o-w-C-h-o-w," and then "Chow-Chow-Chow-Chow"
as fast as he could talk.
His mother was a beautiful buff Shanghai, but he was a long-legged
Brahma, dressed in a speckled black and gray suit. As
the days got chilly, in the fall, it seemed as if he suffered dreadfully
from cold feet. He was always cuddling down in the warm feathers
on his mother's back, even when he was a pretty big fellow.
One day I said, "Come, 'Chow-Chow,' don't trouble your mother.
I'll give you a good warming by the kitchen fire." I carried him into
the kitchen, opened the oven door, and gave his cold feet a good
toasting. Oh, how he enjoyed it! He opened and shut his claws
as he lay on my lap, and chow-chowed, and pecked at the buttons
of my dress.
The next day it was pretty cold, and the first thing I heard
when I went into the kitchen was a tapping at the window-pane.
There was "Chow-Chow" on the window-sill, pecking at the glass,
and holding up one foot, and then the other. He was talking, or
rather scolding, at the top of his voice.
I let him in. He went straight to the stove, and waited for
me to take him in my arms and warm his feet. He seemed to
think it was ever so much nicer than his mother's feathers.
One cold morning I was busy when he came in. The stove
was very hot, and "Chow-Chow"—silly bird!—couldn't wait for
me to attend to him. He flew up on the top of the stove. Then
he gave a scream, and landed on the table. That was the first
and last time he tried to warm his feet without my help.
My sister always said that "Chow-Chow" was a hen. I felt
sure he was a rooster.
She said, "The first we
know 'Chow-Chow' will
lay an egg." I said,
"The first we know
'Chow-Chow' will crow."
After a while I saw
some bright red whiskers
under his chin. Then
such a pretty coral comb.
Still he only talked
But one morning he
came into the kitchen
in a great hurry. He
jumped upon the table,
flapped his wings, and
stretched his long neck,
opened his mouth, and,
oh! such a queer noise!
It was a squeak and a
roar. I ran upstairs to
my sister. "It is a
rooster. Didn't you hear
you call that a crow? Why, I heard an awful noise, and wondered
what it was."
But our chicken grew up one of the handsomest birds I ever saw.
And in a few weeks not a rooster in the neighborhood had such
a musical, splendid crow as our "Chow-Chow."