Gwendolyn the Miracle Hen
Nancy Sherman ~ Edward Sorel
Golden Press, 1961
The travels through my new shopping hood continue... I guess we get so closed up hanging in our own neighborhood that I forget this is the eighth largest city in the country in a Catholic town with a million churches and a thousand church-run thrift shops. The boy and I are having quite a time checking out all the new places after camp. (The boy collects glass birds so in addition to scooping up one that's been on my must-have list, we also found a porcelain partridge and duck set. Score!) Which brings me to this number.
If we find a book with any type of bird on the cover, it's definitely coming home, especially when it happens to be illustrated by a New Yorker legend! Similar in story and theme to Flora's '69 stunner Little Hatchy Hen, we meet a hen that does preform miracles, indeed. While her master struggles to pay his rent, little Gwendolyn hatches a plan to save them from eviction....
The rooster crowed when night was done.
Above the hilltop crept the sun.
The farmer came. He had a pail.
It bore a sign, "Fresh eggs for sale."
He took each egg and put it in
Until he came to Gwendolyn.
And then he got a huge surprise.
He looked. He stared. He blinked his eyes.
"Oh, no," he cried. "This can't be true!"
The egg she'd laid was green and blue!
The story spread and people came from far and wide to see the miracle hen... and the farmer made a small fortune selling the Easter-ish eggs for a dollar each. Sadly, the landlord (aptly named Mr. Meany) thought the hen itself would make a far better payment than cash alone and snatched it away. You'll have to read for yourself to find out what happens, but sometimes the love of a good chicken can mean more than all the dollars in the world.
Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!