I was 3 months old and went on a field trip to a local farm with my class. My classmates and I filled the school bus with excitement, what would we see? Do pigs really fly? I was ready to find out!
I sat by the window with my friend Boots, which was sitting next me singing Old McDonald Had A Farm. Boots looked over at me and said, “Did you know that if you poke a chicken, you get chicken pox?” I’ve heard of this before, but my parents told me it was just lie parents told their kittens so that they would leave chickens alone. Boots insisted it was true, and it happened to a cousin of his. I was certain he was just blowing air out of his butt.
After an hour of riding down country roads, we made it to the farm. We were all pouncing from excitement. Our teacher, Mrs. Nesbit, hissed at us to calm down. Mrs. Nesbit was an older cat who enjoyed wearing hats and drinking tea. She continued to hiss at us but was quickly interrupted by Farmer Pickles. Farmer Pickles inherited the farm from his parents. He was wearing swim shorts and slippers. “I like this guy”, I thought to myself. He welcomed us and began giving us a tour of the farm. We started at the barn that housed the cows, horses and goats. I always knew that cows were squeezed for their milk, but I didn’t know they did that with goats as well. We were given samples of the milk; it was warm with freshness. I immediately got a flashback from being an infant. Good times.
Before we knew it, it was lunch time! I grabbed my Godzilla lunchbox wondering what my mom had packed for me today. My mom always made the best lunches! Inside my lunchbox, was a peanut butter and mouse sandwich, salmon skin strips, gummy spiders and grass juice. Mom didn’t disappoint! Whiskers saw my gummy spiders and tried to trade me her sugar bees, but I told her to buzz off. After we finished our lunches, we took a much needed nap in the sun.
We finished our day at the chicken coop. Boots dared me to poke a chicken since I didn’t believe his tales of chicken pox. I refused, saying that I didn’t need to prove anything. “What are you chicken?” he asked mockingly. “FINE!” I yelled. I must admit, I was a little bit nervous. Even though I didn’t believe in those tales, but what if it were true?
I scanned the room to find a mellow chicken. There was a yellow one sitting on a bench reading a fashion magazine. I slowly made my way over, extended my paw and quickly poked it. A few minutes passed by, and I felt fine. I looked at Boots and said “See!”. We shrugged it off and continued on with our tour.
I woke up the next morning feeling itchy. I didn’t think much of it until I began my bath and saw red spots all over! I screamed at the top of my lungs. My parents ran into my room to see what was going on. “Did you touch a chicken?” my mom asked. I told them the whole story. They couldn’t believe their ears. Mom told me I would be okay and not to scratch myself. That sounded simple enough, but that lasted for 5 minutes, and I couldn’t help myself! I scratched, scratched and scratched some more. I felt a great relief wash over me! I decided to lay down and take a nap to pass the time. I awoke several hours later and inspected my spots. To my horror, I saw feathers starting to poke out of the pox! I didn’t want my parents to know, so I put on a sweatshirt, and I went on with the day watching tv and playing games while being secretly scared. My mom told me it was bedtime, so I made way to my room. I closed the door behind me and took off my sweatshirt to inspect my pox. The feathers were protruding even more! “This can’t be happening!”, I said to myself. I began to pluck out my feathers hoping for it to be over. I heard my mom walking down the hall, so I stuffed my plucked feathers under the bed and jumped under the covers. She read me a story, and I fell asleep.
At 7 a.m my alarm clock went off, and I tried to reach my paw over to press the snooze button, but to my horror, I didn’t have paws! Did my arms fall off? Am I paralyzed? My heart began to race. I tried to sit up, but I kept rolling back and forth. After what felt like minutes, I managed stand up. I didn’t feel right. I went to mirror to see a chicken looking back at me. I didn’t understand at first, but I soon realized, that the chicken was me! I was covered in feathers with wings and a beak! I tried to scream for my parents, but instead of meows, it came out as squawks!
My parents rushed me to the vet hoping for a cure. The vet told my parents my condition was chronic, and I would forever be a chicken. Luckily my parents didn’t stop there. We went from vet to vet trying everything from pills to herbal teas yet nothing worked. We were about to give up and accept my clucking fate when a fellow patient told my parents of their friend’s sister’s friend became a chicken from chicken pox, and they were able to reverse the process by giving her catnip. My parents were skeptical since nothing else was working, and I was too young for catnip, but we were desperate.
My dad grabbed his stash of catnip and spread it on floor. I waddled over to it and started to roll around in it. I made sure to fully cover myself. I also sniffed and ate it. Then something miraculous began happening! My feathers began fall off, I grew arms and paws. And with a big kaboom, I was a kitten again! I squeaked with happiness and hugged my parents! We were all crying with relief that I didn’t have to go through life as a chicken. I will never forget this experience and hope you learned a valuable lesson. NEVER POKE CHICKENS!