THREE FRENCH HENS…
As promised, I picked her up and drove her to my place. She was quite amazed when I started telling her that we kept chooks as pets.
"Chooks?" she exclaimed, "You mean hens. Wait a minute, you, Anthony Jansen, god to 70% of the girls who went to our high school, have hens as pets?"
"Yes," I said before adding, "Are you a part of that 70%?"
She snorted, though still an attractive one at that. "You wish!" That I did.
Actually, maybe I didn't. I was looking for that one big and interestingly detailed tree, not a random boring one who acted fake, remember? I wanted the one that stood out, reached sky high, and was so interestingly detailed that I spent forever discovering every leaf, every – Wait, haven't we been over this before?
Either way, I wanted the girl who was sitting in the passenger seat of my car mumbling to herself about the pros and cons of having hens.
"So, Casey, you like hens?"
Facing me, her face lights up, when she starts to explain, "Yes! I used to go around to my neighbours every week, they had a hen called Henny-Penny, I would sit there for ages with it, just holding it, singing to it, feeding it, talking to it. It was like having a friend who was always there for me. Then one day, I got home from primary school, and Henny-Penny was gone. She died from getting locked outside her shelter on a freezing cold night. The neighbours didn't want another hen after that, and my parents refused, telling me how much of a pest they were. I didn't believe them. And now, I get to see some hens again, it's been a while, and what can I say? I'm excited."
She looked at me, smiling from the memory her story told, but when she caught me smiling back at her, she blinked once, then her smile faded, and so did mine, with the words, "Just because I told you one of my childhood stories, doesn't change anything. I don't trust you any more then I did, and I don't like you any more any more then I did, as in, not at all."
I can't say I wasn't shocked. Where did that come from?
From within her odd, but lovable mind apparently.
Even quieter, she mumbled continuously, for the rest of the way there, "It won't change anything." I don't even think she knew she was saying it out loud. I thought if I let her keep saying it, it would start to make sense to me, boy was I wrong. I'm confused as hell!
I have noticed over the last two days, that she has this thing she does. Where, she starts off keen on hating me, but once she's gotten used to me being around her, or I surprise her with one of my many talents, she starts having a genuinely great time with me.
Which is why, when we get to my place and were out of the car, instead of me introducing her to my mum or Lucy first, I grab her hand and pull her towards the chook pen, or as she would call it, hen pen, like it's the best thing in the world to be doing, hoping that she'll pick up on my mood.
Which I guess it almost is the best thing in the world. The best thing right now would include me being to be able to kiss Casey senseless, but under the present circumstances, I don't think she would allow it.
However, it is still the start of the third day I have spent a large amount of time with the amazing Casey Holloway, who I also sometimes refer to as the one big interestingly detailed tree for those who didn't know.
I am ecstatic.
Once Casey's in sight of the chooks, I mean hens, she just about squeals. Besides her story, I really don't see how she could be this excited. It's insane.
"Can I touch them?"
Maybe she is insane. Oh well, I guess I could live with that. I open the gate and motion with my hand for her to go in. "Ladies first."
Didn't I tell you I was the gentlemen?
Yes, yes I did.
The sight in front of me is not something I would expect to see. Firstly, Casey is at my house, which is something I've failed to get her to do for years now. Secondly, Casey is sitting on the ground, yes the same ground that has hen droppings on it, with a hen in her lap looking at it like it's the best thing in the world.
I wonder if she'll ever look at me like that.
Hopefully, I think with a sigh.
Upon hearing it, Casey looks up, her face completely blank like she had forgotten that I was here.
"What are their names?"
"Well, for short we call the one you're holding Gillys, the brown one JC, and the grey one Henry."
"What are their whole names then?"
"Gilles de Rais, Jean-Claude Romand, and Henri Désiré Landru. They're weird, I know, especially since they're male names, and female chickens, but no one needs to know that."
"Maybe not weird, but different," she says, " okay weird too. Is there a reason for their names to be different then most hens?"
"Well, yes, there is a reason, but, well, it's kind of weird." Why does it seem like everything about these 'hens' are weird all of a sudden?
"What is it?" She asks.
"Well, at the time we got them, Devon, my little brother, was missing our grandparents who were in France for a few months, so he asked, well demanded, that we name them French names. Then, with the help from Wikipedia, I found all these famous French names. One of the groups of names were named after famous French criminals…"
"So, you're telling me that you named the hens after French criminals?"
"Yes, I guess I am," I say, still not sure if she thinks I'm weird.
Her next words proved my guess of her reaction wrong.
"I wish I had thought of that when I named my fish," She said in deep thought. "Maybe in Italian instead though."
Why was I even worried about in the first place?
"I'm glad you like them, Casey."
"I do, it's true. If it isn't obvious, I have a soft spot for hens. What type of criminals were they?"
"Mainly just murderers, couldn't name them after everyday robbers now could I? There's not enough excitement in that. Besides, don't you think they look like evil murderer chooks anyway?"
"Hens," she corrects automatically, "And no, I don't, I think they're cute. I do like their names though."
"Well, that's good to hear, but don't you think I ought to introduce you to my mum and announce that we're here, she has to go some important meeting or something."
"Can we come back to the French hens later?"
"Of course, whatever you want princess," I say truthfully, "'French' hens?"
"French criminals, French names, therefore, French hens," she explains like it's one of the most simple things in the world.
We make our way into the house, and her being my one big and interestingly detailed tree, I made sure that the house was clean before I left today. Smart idea right? I think so too.
"Anthony, is that you and what's-her-name?" Great mum, just great.
I hear a chuckle start from beside me at the latter of my mum's sentence.
"Yes mum, what's-her-name and I are here. You can leave now, don't want to be late now do we?"
With a rushed, "Oh is it time already?" You can hear my mum rushing around the house collecting her work stuff, before finally meeting us in the front hallway.
"So, I can't stay long, but I'm curious, which what's-her-name are you?" My mum directs her question at Casey.
Great idea mum, bring up the fact that every girl I brought home was too insignificant to remember their name.
Casey gives me an unimpressed look before answering my mum with a smile, "Casey Holloway, ah…"
"Linda," My mum interjects, "Call me Linda dear."
"…Linda, pleased to meet you."
"You too Casey." My mum pauses, looking deep in thought, and I have an awful idea of what she's going to say next.
"Casey," she says, though looking at me, "The same Casey who you're always complaining –"
"Mum," I cut her off before she can say anything to drastic, "Don't you need to go?"
Hearing that, my mum's eyes widen and with a, "Yes, you're right", "Bye", "Behave", "Remember to play with Lucy", and "No burning the house down", she is gone.
"Is it just me, or is your mother a bit hectic?" Casey asks.
"It's not just you, but what can I say, I still love her. Come on, let's to introduce you to Lucy. Devon's still at school, so we don't need to worry about him."
"Then we go see the French hens?" I can almost hear pleading in her voice.
Lucy, the cute thing, is playing with cars when we walk into the room. The same cars that I played with when I was her age, I guess that's what happens when you grow up only having brothers as playmates.
"Antsony? Where Cwara? She not baby-sitten me today? Who's that girl?"
So many questions, though what else do you expect from a two year old?
"Clara's busy, little Lucy-Loo," I go up and hug her when she starts laughing at the sound of my nickname for her.
Looking over my shoulder, Lucy spots the person I had forgotten about for a few moments. "Who she?"
Before I can answer however, that 'she' answers for herself, "Hello Lucy, I'm Casey, Anthony's friend. I'm going to help him baby-sit you today, won't that be fun?"
Don't you just love it when people's voices go higher when they talk to little kids? I don't usually, but this is Casey's voice I'm hearing, so I could listen to it all day.
"You baby-sitten me today Antsony?" Lucy directs another of her many questions at me, her voice bubbling with happiness.
"Yes, and so is Casey, we'll have lots of fun together."
"YAY! Cazey? Have you seen the chookies yet? Antsony, let's go show her the chookies."
Yes, I guess I forgot to mention that I know someone else who has an obsession with the animals.
"Cazey? Do you like chookies?"
"Yes! I love them! Do you think they are cute too?" Is what Casey replied.
"YES! JC's my favouwite. She lets me hold him all day wong."
Before replying, Casey whispers to me, "I can see your younger sister and I are going to be great friends." Then, to Lucy she says, "I don't know, I think that, what's the dark brown one's name again?"
"Giwwys." No one can deny it. My little sister is adorable when she tries to say her 'L's.
Knowing full well that I'm not a part of this conversation, and don't wish to be a part of it, I tune their words out.
I'm just glad they are getting along so well. I thought that, maybe with Casey's apparent, well it is in the mornings, dislike for me, she might purposely not get along with Lucy. Thankfully, that is not the case.
Actually, it's the opposite. Lucy just demanded for me to put her down so that Casey can carry her. Even more surprising, Casey agrees to it with a smile; which makes me smile. Looks like she has outgrown her dislike for me today already.
We were back down in the hen pen in no time.
"See, that one's Giwwy, that one JC, and that one Henry. They all have boy names. Devon told me it's because they were boys, but he was lying. Mummy said that it's because Antsony liked the names,' Lucy-Loo explained before whispering into Casey's ear, "They're actually girls."
We spent maybe two hours in that hen pen with the 'French hens' (Casey's way of calling them is contagious). We sat and talked, each with a French hen in our lap. We somehow managed to play duck-duck-French hen in that small space (Lucy's idea). We acted out some sort of play that involved three French hens and three children, and I think that Casey could become a very good playmaker one day, or a story writer, because after that we just told whatever story came to mind.
For me, it wasn't one of my more normal days, but definitely one of my more fun ones.
It after the telling stories, that Lucy decided that she wanted Casey to read her a book. Despite what Casey said about reading books yesterday, she obliged.
The secret look we shared though, when Lucy brought out a combined book of Cinderella and Rapunzel, was priceless. It was mixed between a, you have got to be kidding me, look, and a look that obviously gave you a sighing impression.
Casey read, and read, until soon enough, Lucy lay asleep next to one of three sitting French hens.
Casey, not long after that, announced that it was time for her to go home, so we loaded Lucy into the car, and after maybe goodbyes to the French hens from Casey, we made our way back to Casey's place.
Just before Casey disappeared through her door, she exclaimed, "Anthony, I really like your sister, and your house, and the three French hens." I half hoped that she would say and you, but it didn't happen. "I had a great time, thanks."
"You're welcome Princess. Did you want to play some basketball with me and my mates tomorrow?" Seeing the unsure look on her face, I add, "We could use an extra player. Hint, Hint."
"Well, okay, as long as you let me get at least five goals. Deal?"
"Deal. I'll pick you up just before lunch."
"Okay. Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow then. Bye Anthony."
"Bye Princess," I say regrettably, just before she shuts he front door and we go our separate ways once again until we see each other again.
All I can think on the way home, is, three days gone, nine more to go.
It's going a lot more smoothly then I thought it would. Too smoothly maybe, but I can't complain, so I put the thought at rest.
REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW! Well, please. pretty pretty please.
or if you see any mistake; period.
The next chapter should be up very soon, depends on how I'm feeling (reviews will put me in a good mood hint, hint) though I'm almost always in a good mood, so it'll probably be up soon. a review will still be appreciated TONNES no matter how small (p.s. I've actually finished the first 5 chapters)
These words make the count 8888:)