News Flash! Baby chick just hatched!

Shell: This is Shell, here, with a live report from Uncle Clay’s barn, where a serama chick has just hatched from its egg!  Yes, you heard correctly, folks.  We have five eggs in an incubator–

Santa: My incubator! I raised the money for it —

Shell:  Santa’s incubator.  Right.  And our serama eggs. Five of them–

Annie: They’re so cute–

Santa:   The eggs, Annie?  Or the chicks. Be specific.  We’re on the internet here!

Annie (hands clasped): Both–!

Shell:  Anyway, seramas are the smallest of bantam chickens —

Santa: –bantams are small chickens —

Shell: — and we collected some eggs from our breeding pair–

Annie:  –And stuck them in the incubator, such a cute, warm, humid place —

Santa: We put them in the incubator 19 days ago.  Now they’re hatching.  Right on schedule.

Shell:  Anyway, the first one hatched, and has tons of energy.

Annie:  — It flopped around —

Shell: –And now the peck area of another egg is turning into a line–

Annie: — the chicks just peck a line all the way around the egg to get out of one end, kind of like a zipper —

Santa: No, it’s not.

Shell: Anyway, it’s all really exciting, and we’ll get back to you with videos and pictures.  Stay tuned! Shell, signing off!

Santa:  Is that “egg”-Shell?  Ha ha!

Shell: Out!

Red Foxes, Right Here!

Hey, Jane here.  So, I now live on Shell, Annie, and Santa’s island … or at least, an island very much like it.  Well, guess what?  Last week I think I saw a red fox speeding alongside our chicken yard.  The chickens were b’gacking — making some upset noises.  It could have been a cat … we have several around here.  The animal was slightly larger than cat-size, and rust-red in color, with white.  I didn’t see the tail — that would have been a dead giveaway (one way or the other!).

My harp partner, Deb, and her partner told me that they’ve seen foxes where they live.  So now I know for sure that foxes live on the island!

I don’t know why I’m surprised, or think it’s such a miracle — foxes are clever creatures that adapt well to human life.  They live in cities, and in suburbs — just about anywhere that humans are!    They are opportunists, and they are secretive, knowing how to keep under cover.

You may have wild foxes in your own neighborhood.   Feel free to share your fox stories here!

Superheroes In Seattle!

Santa:  Wow,  Shell, look at this!

Shell:  What, what?  You sound pretty excited.

Santa:  I am!  You’ll be too.  Get this.  So, here, Jane’s been working on this book —

Shell: —Because Of The Red Fox.  Yeah, yeah, you’d think that maybe we’d know something about it!

Annie: –because we’re the main characters!

Santa: Right, right.  But here’s the strange thing.  While Jane’s been writing this book–

Shell: –for a really long time–

Santa (ignoring the interruption):–she’s been finding that some of it has been coming true.

Annie:  Of course the story’s true!

Santa:  Coming true, I said!  And this is one big way that it’s coming true.  You know how Uncle Paul is a superhero–

Annie: Sshh!  We need to keep that a secret!

Santa: –and all the others, Ancestor Man, Otter Woman, and the rest of the folks who showed up at the Ordered Council–

Shell (impatient): Yes, yes–Animal Force.

Santa: Well, here’s the deal.  There really are superheroes now in Seattle, fighting crime.  They’re part of the Rain City Superhero Movement, and you can read all about them right here:

Phoenix Jones and the Rain City Superhero Movement

Shell: Wow!

Annie: See?  We are real!

Santa: That’s rather a leap–

Shell: –in a single bound!

Santa:  Let’s not jump to conclusions!

Shell: Why not?  The alternative isn’t very attractive.

Annie:  Wh-what alternative?

Shell: That we’re figments of someone’s imagination.

Santa, Annie, and Shell: Naaahhhh!

Santa (sagely):  After all, life is just one big storybook anyway, right?

Shell:  Very wise, oh older cousin.

Santa: Right! …. Hey, are you making fun of me?

Shell: Moi???   By the way, have I shown you myself as a superhero?  Myself when I’m a bit older anyway.     I created it at Hero Machine.   Here it is:

Veriditas

Santa: Pretty fancy, Shell. But what kind of superhero name is “Veriditas”?

Shell: You know, a weird one!

Annie: I wonder what kind of superhero I’d be?  Can superheroes just serve tea?

Shell: I’m sure you can be any kind of superhero you want.  Serving cups of Peace tea sounds like the perfect way for you to combat crime!

Santa (choking): Mnrf, snort!

Shell: I’m serious!

Santa (recovering):  Anyway — that’s all I had to share for this week.  By for now, everyone!

Shell and Annie: Bye!