Donna The Momma — A Children’s Story (Part One)

I’ve never written a children’s story before, but took a shot at it last month. After a whole bunch of revising, I think I’m happy with where it is now. I broke it up into a couple posts because otherwise it’s a bit lengthy.

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While the other birds on the farm enjoyed the warm spring sunshine, Donna the turkey stayed in her house.

“Donna!” clucked the chickens. “Won’t you come out and eat corn with us?”
“No, thank you,” replied Donna. “I am going to stay in here and sit on these eggs.”
The chickens shook their heads and tittered among themselves. “Donna is a weird bird,” they said. “Sit on eggs rather than eat corn! Bah! But, that’s a turkey for you.”

“Don-Donna!” honked the geese. “Come out for a swim! The water is warm.”
“No, thank you,” said Donna. “I am going to stay in here and sit on these eggs. Also, turkeys can’t swim!”
The geese waddled off to the pond, honking quietly among themselves. “Donna is  strange bird,” the said. “Who would rather sit on eggs than go for a swim? Bah! But, that’s a turkey for you.”

“Donna Donna!” laughed the ducks. “We’re going to wade in the mud! Do you want to come with us?”
“No, thank you,” said Donna. “I am going to stay in here and sit on these eggs.”
The ducks shook their heads as they trotted to the mud hole, quacking quietly among themselves. “Donna is an odd bird,” they said. “She’d rather sit on eggs than walk through mud?! Bah! But, that’s a turkey for you.”

Spring passed and Donna stayed inside, sitting on her eggs. Summer was just approaching when —
CRACK!
Donna was surprised! What could have made that sound?
Then — CRACK! — there it was again! And — CRACK! — again!
Donna looked up. But there was nothing there! Donna looked behind her. But there was nothing there! Donna looked all around her. But there was nothing there, either!

Then, Donna heard another sound. It went something like this:
Momma? Momma? Momma Momma Momma Momma Momma?”

Donna stood up. And there were her babies! One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten! Ten beautiful babies for Donna!

Donna was as proud as a turkey can be of her ten babies. She strutted around the barnyard with her feathers puffed up, showing off her children to anyone who would look.

But the other birds noticed something strange about Donna’s babies. None of them were turkeys! There were four baby geese calling Donna their Momma. And three little ducks behaving like turkeys! And three more young chickens following Donna around the barnyard!

One night, while the babies were sleeping, the geese hissed and the ducks squawked and the chickens crowed at Donna. “Those aren’t your babies!” they said. “Can’t you see they aren’t like you?”

The other birds made Donna angry with their words! But Donna was a smart turkey. So she took a deep breath, shook her feathers, raised her head proudly and looked at the other birds calmly.
“I sat on their eggs all spring,” she said. “When you were pecking at corn and swimming in the pond and wading in the mud, I made sure my babies’ eggs were safe. I was there when they hatched. I will teach them everything I know, like how to eat bugs and how to warble and how to sleep in trees for safety. They might not be turkeys, but they are my babies and I love them.”

The other birds murmured to each other. “Donna is so strange!” they said. “Who would raise a baby that isn’t theirs?” But they could not argue with what Donna said, so they let the matter drop.

***

Click here for Part Two

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