fiction · Short Stories

Donna The Momma — A Children’s Story (Part 2)

This is part two to the children’s story I posted yesterday. Click here to read part one.

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As Donna’s babies got older, they began to wander about the barnyard on their own.

The summer was hot, and some of the baby birds went to the pond for a cool drink of water. The geese were swimming in the pond and approached the young birds.
“Why-why not join us in the water?” asked the geese. “The pond is nice on a hot day, so come for a swim!”
Donna’s babies gave the geese a questioning look. “But turkeys can’t swim!” they told the older birds. “Everybody knows that!”
The geese chortled. “You mean Donna hasn’t told you?” they asked.
“Told us what? Told us what?” demanded the baby birds.
“You’re not turkeys!” laughed the geese. “Donna isn’t your real mother! You’re geese, like us. You can swim!”
Donna’s babies couldn’t believe their ears! Could what the geese said be true? Frightened, the babies began to cry. Then, they ran off to find Donna, their Momma.

Meanwhile, some of the baby birds were practicing roosting in a small tree, like Donna had shown them. The ducks saw what the babies were doing and waddled over.
“What are you doing-doing?!” the ducks exclaimed. “Ducks don’t roost in trees!”
The babies gave the ducks a strange look. “But we’re turkeys,” they replied. “Turkeys stay in trees to keep safe at night. Everyone knows that.”
The ducks laughed their noisy laugh. “You’re not turkeys!” they said. “We can’t believe Donna never told you!”
“Told us what?” asked the baby birds. “What do you mean?”
“Donna isn’t your real mother. You’re ducks, and ducks don’t roost!”
Donna’s babies couldn’t believe their ears! Could what the ducks said be true? Frightened, the babies began to cry. Then, they ran off to find Donna, their Momma.

At the same time, some of the babies had gone down by the henhouse to look for bugs. They had just learned how to warble and had made a game of it: whenever a bug was found, they all had to warble as loud as they could. The chickens came running out of their house, wondering what all the racket could be!
“What do you think you’re doing?!” the chickens demanded.
“We’re warbling,” the babies said. “Like how Momma taught us.”
“What are you talking about? Chickens don’t warble! We coo, and cluck and crow, like this!” And the chickens cooed, and clucked, and crowed, and made a great deal of noise!
“But, we’re not chickens,” the babies said when the chickens were done. “We’re turkeys. Turkeys warble. Everyone knows that.”
The chickens cackled. “You mean she hasn’t told you yet?”
“Told us what?”
“You’re not turkeys!” crowed the chickens. “You’re chickens! Donna isn’t your real mother. You can coo, and cluck, and crow, but you can’t warble!”
Donna’s babies couldn’t believe their ears! Could what the chickens said be true? Frightened, the babies began to cry. Then, they ran off to find Donna, their Momma.

All the babies ran to Donna, crying baby bird tears.
“Momma, Momma!” they cried. “The other birds said you weren’t our real momma. Is it true? Are we not turkeys, like you?”
Seeing her babies upset made Donna sad! But Donna was a good momma, so she took a deep breath and shook her feathers. She bent down and looked each of her babies in the eye.

“Darlings,” she said. “Some of what the other birds said is true. Some of you are geese, some of you are ducks, and some of you are chickens. But!” she continued when the babies began crying again. “I am your real Momma. I sat on your eggs all spring. I was the first thing you saw when you hatched. I have taught you everything I know, like how to eat bugs, how to warble, and how to stay safe by sleeping in trees.
You might not be turkeys. But you are my babies and I love you, no matter what.”

“We love you too, Momma,” said the babies.
“I know you do, darlings,” said Donna. Then, she gave each of them a peck on the cheek and told them to go play until dinner time.

So if you’re ever on a farm where the geese don’t know how to swim, the ducks sleep in trees, and the chickens warble like turkeys, you will know that Donna is their momma.

The End

Donna the Momma is based on a real turkey named Donna that has a habit of sitting on eggs the other birds left behind. My imagination took off with the rest.

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