The start of a short story series I am writing about my kids and our chickens. Its a rough draft and needs some clean up. James is my youngest little boy and Poco is his pet splash Silkie chicken that we hatched last New Years. I hope to write several books about their adventures together. I plan on writing and illustrating myself in hopes of someday getting it published to help teach city kids like mine about chickens. I'm including a rough sketch of one of the illustration pages I am working on. Eventually they will be done in full color paintings. So let me know what you all think..... [ One chilly day James heard the doorbell ring. Expecting something interesting to add to an other wise boring afternoon, he jumped up and rushed after his mom as she answered the door. Waiting on the porch was a brown box. A Package! Packages always meant something interesting and fun! Last time a package was delivered it was a train set from his grandmother who lived in Taiwan! James could hardly contain himself, he thought about all the fun things that could be in the box, a toy truck, candy, maybe a magic lamp with a genie inside? “Oh mom, open it please!” James begged . “ Alright James, lets take it to the kitchen table and we can open it.” Mom smiled. James bounded to the table and jumped on a chair as mom gently set the package on the table. The box was labeled with big red letters that read, F-R-A-G-I-L-E. He wasn’t sure what it meant, but it looked important. Mom carefully opened the box with a pair of scissors. Packing peanuts spilled from the carton as she carefully lifted a carton from the box. “EGGS?!?!?! EGGS!!! Why are you getting eggs in the mail mom? They sell those at the grocery store. “ James exclaimed with surprise trying to hide his disappointment. James could not understand why mom got a box with a carton of eggs in the mail, they had plenty of eggs in the fridge. This afternoon was not going to be as interesting as he thought. “These are special eggs James.” Said mom. “These eggs are going to go into our incubator and after 3 weeks baby chicks will hatch from them.” James wasn’t so sure, “They just look like regular eggs to me” He muttered as he returned to his toy cars on the floor. James tried not to act interested as he watched his mom carefully unwrap each egg from its wrapping, placing each egg carefully in the little yellow incubator. “Mom, those eggs are upside down!” James exclaimed, pointing in the incubator. “When we hatch eggs we put them in the big side up so that the baby chicks can hatch better.” Mom said as she poured a cup of warm water in the incubator. James watched as mom carefully set the incubator on the bookshelf and plugged it in. The incubator made a soft humming noise and it slowly started moving back and forth. James was not impressed. There was no way that chickens would come out of those dumb eggs, he had eggs for breakfast lots of times. There was only the white part and the yellow part, he’d never seen a chicken in an egg. Each day James would peer into the incubator as he walked by the bookcase. The eggs just sat there and did nothing. The incubator rocked them back and forth, dumb old eggs, why couldn’t it have been something neat in that box? Hmmph! Mom was crazy, there were no chickens in those eggs! One morning mom unplugged part of the incubator. “What are you doing mom?” James asked as he looked up from his coloring book. “Its time for Lock Down, the chicks will be born in 3 days.” Smiled mom as she poured more water in the incubator. Lock Down? What the heck was that? James imagined mom putting the eggs on a on a rocket ship to mars where aliens would eat them for breakfast. James giggled as he imagined little green Martians eating Mom’s eggs. Mom just smiled at James as he drew aliens eating eggs. One snowy morning James awoke to a strange sound. It sounded like a bird in the house. Sleepily he crawled out of his warm bed and followed the sound. Peeep… Peeep. ….peeep!! The sound got louder and louder as James approached the incubator. Peeep…. Peeeep! James peered into the incubator looking for where the peeping was coming from. Nope no chickens, bummer! Then he saw an egg move! The little egg rocked back and forth. Then he saw it, a crack in the egg! “MOM!! MOM! MOM!” James wildly flew up the stairs and jumped on his parents bed. “I heard a noise and followed it to the eggs and there is an egg moving and its broken!” James exclaimed. Mom and dad looked at each other and laughed. “It sounds like today is the day for those chicks to be born!” Laughed dad. “ GO down and watch them, and eventually one will zip right out of those eggs. “Awesome!” Yelled James and he ran back down stairs. All day those little chicks pipped and zipped their way out of the incubator. Every time a new baby chick was born James reported to his mom. “A black one!” “A grey!” “Another Black!” He called from his position in front of the bookcase. James kept watching that first egg, waiting for a chick to push its way out of the shell. It kept rocking and peeping, but still no chick. Finally all the other eggs had hatch except that first egg. “It looks like we have a quitter.” Mom sighed. “Time to clean out the incubator and put the chicks in the brooder.” “No mom, wait, this one still needs to hatch!” James cried. “ I just don’t think that one was strong enough to make it out James.” Mom said gently. “ Come on its time for bed.” “ Just give it more time mom.” James begged. “Ok, we will give it until morning.” James couldn’t sleep all night. He hoped that little chick made it out of its shell. That morning James rushed to the incubator. He was sad when he saw the incubator was empty and not one egg or shell left to be seen. Wiping tears from his eyes he walked into the kitchen. “Good morning James!” Mom sang as she flipped a pancake on the griddle. “ I have a surprise for you! Go look in the brooder.” James wandered over to the plastic container with the red lamp. He heard chirping coming from it and he looked inside. Fuzzy little baby chicks ran around pecking at the ground . Then he noticed it, a chick that wasn’t there last night. A tiny fluffy yellow and brown chick.. He could hardly believe his eye! He counted just to make sure, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12! They were all there! “It hatched!” James exclaimed as he gently picked up the tiny chick. “Yes it did.” Dad grinned from behind his newspaper. James held the tinny little ball of fluff to his cheek and smiled. Its was so soft ! “Can this one be mine?” James asked his dad. “Sure why not!” Said dad. “It will need a name, what will you name it?” “Poco, because it was the last one to hatch. That’s the Spanish word for little.” James smiled proudly “ Poco, hmmm, I like it! Poco it is.” James grinned as he gently stoked the top of the chicks head. Those eggs turned out to be the best package to arrive EVER!