Sarah lived on a small farm in Ohio in 1959. She was nine years old, had brown hair and green eyes. Her mother raised chickens to eat and would sell the eggs. One day Sarah’s mother gave Sarah her very own chicken to raise. Sarah named the chicken Maryanne.
She found some wood, some chicken wire, a hammer, and nails laying around the farm and she built Maryanne a small chicken coup. Maryanne could eat in her mother’s chicken pen but Sarah wanted her to lay her eggs in the coup that she had built. Sarah would let Maryanne out in her mother’s chicken pen during the day and lock her in the coup at night. Maryanne wouldn’t be too lonely because Sarah had built her coup right next to her mother’s chicken coup.
There was a garden on the farm that Sarah’s family used for canning their own food and Sarah’s job was to pick the bugs off of the beans, tomatoes, and cabbage. She would take the bugs and put them into an old Mason jar. When the jar was full of bugs, she took them to Maryanne’s coup and fed the bugs to her as a special treat. She also fed Maryanne laying mash which was supposed to help her lay eggs and keep her healthy.
One morning Sarah went to her mothers chicken coup to feed and water the chickens and she saw some hens sitting on their nests and they wouldn’t get up to eat or drink. She went into the house and told her mother that some of her hens were sick because they wouldn’t get off the nests. Her mother just smiled and went with Sarah to tend to the sick hens.
When they got to the chicken coup, Sarah’s mother told her that the hens weren’t sick. She told Sarah that the hens were laying eggs now and that they wouldn’t leave the nests very much until the eggs had hatched. Sarah went back to the house and got a basket to put her mothers eggs in. After they had pushed the hens over and removed their eggs, Sarah looked in Maryanne’s coup and she wasn’t there. She looked all over the place but Maryanne wasn’t anywhere.
Sarah’s mother told her that maybe her chicken was eaten by a Fox during the night. Sarah looked all around the chicken pen area for Fox tracks but couldn’t find any. After breakfast, Sarah looked again but still Maryanne was nowhere to be found.
When Sarah and her mother went to lock the chickens up for the night, she saw Maryanne with the rest of the chickens eating her mash. Sarah and her mother just scratched their heads in wonder. Where could Maryanne have been hiding all day?
Three months had passed since Sarah’s mother had given her Maryanne and Sarah was beginning to wonder why her mothers chickens were laying eggs and hers wasn’t. Maryanne hadn’t laid one egg and Sarah wanted that egg money really bad.
Maryanne kept hiding for a couple of more weeks, and Sarah would find her at different times in the chicken pen eating with the other hens. Maryanne never sat on any nests and she didn’t lay any eggs. Sarah heard her dad tell her mother that they might as well cook Maryanne because she wasn’t laying any eggs and she was costing them money by eating the chicken mash . This really worried Sarah because she knew how much that her dad liked “Chicken and Dumplings”.
Sarah got up very early the next day. She had to find Maryanne before her dad did. Her plan was to hide Maryanne and sneak her some mash to eat. Sarah looked all over but Maryanne was once again, nowhere to be found. Sarah started to cry now. All that work to build the coup and all the special attention that she gave
Sarah finally gave up the search and was getting very hungry. She started back to the house to eat breakfast when she noticed something moving over by the barn. It was Maryanne and walking behind Maryanne was nine little baby chicks. She ran to the house to tell her mother and father. They all went out to the barn and her dad found Maryanne’s nest near the feedbag.
Sarah’s dad bought the baby chicks from her and Sarah rushed down to the store and bought the necklace that she had been wanting for over a year. Maryanne was allowed to raise her chicks and she didn’t get cooked. Sarah’s father found the hole in the fence that Maryanne had been escaping through and patched it up. Maryanne ended up being the best egg layer on the farm.