Sunday, October 18, 2009

I got this crazy idea that I could actually write a picture book. Then reality set in. I learned some interesting facts about the children's book industry. Apparently, celebrities use ghost writers. And editors receive more manuscripts in one day than they publish all year. There are also a few topics/styles to avoid: rhyming books, stories about anthropomorphic animals and stories about your pet. In conclusion, I have decided not to send my story to editors. I wrote a rhyming story about my pet-the horror! I spent so much time on it that I decided to publish it on my blog instead.

Oliver's Hen

Lou Ellen was sick; no one knew why.
She wobbled and struggled; she would not fly.

We gave her water, medicine and melon.
We’d do anything to help our Lou Ellen.

Oliver fed her and treated her with care.
Think he’d leave her side? Oliver wouldn’t dare.

Lou Ellen, she loved her Oliver, too,
Happy doing what he wanted to do.

Lou Ellen started to walk; she seemed to heal.
And she even began to finish each meal.

Daddy always liked Lou Ellen next to his feet,
A help in the garden, many bugs she could eat.

Oliver will remember one warm Saturday,
When he and his hen began to explore and play.

First, Lou Ellen listened to Oliver’s sweet song.
I’m sure on the inside she was singing along.

It is true that illness can be healed with a touch.
A massage from Oliver was enjoyed so much.

Then off to his trampoline to jump around.
Lou Ellen watched her friend, safely from the ground.

Next, Oliver and his hen hopped on his swing.
Just look at the bliss an old tire can bring.

They wandered around and climbed in a tree.
How much more wonderful could one day be?

Oliver said “Goodnight” to his fine hen,
Knowing what a perfect day it had been.

Something heartbreaking happened the very next morning,
It was something that happened without any warning.

Oliver found his hen covered in dirt.
It looked as though poor Lou Ellen was hurt.

He ran to check her, her feet in the air.
He called out “LOU ELLEN,” but she wasn’t there.

Oliver comforted, “Mommy, don’t cry.”
“I love her the same. I know that inside.”

So grandpa came to help dig a small hole,
And he laid to rest her beautiful soul.

Oliver cut flowers to cover her grave.
At three years old, he was amazingly brave.

Most chickens, you know, live their lives in a coop,
And some even end up in vegetable soup.

There was one exception; it was Oliver’s pet.
Her three weeks in our garden, we’ll never forget.

Lou Ellen’s short life was one filled with joy.
How many chickens are loved by a boy?


  1. What a sweet (and sad) tale!

  2. I think it's a great poem, but the death part would probably not go over well in a children's book...but I'm surprised because Dr. Seuss rhymed all his books and I loved stories with cats in human clothings as a kid...mostly all Fables have animals in clothing representing people...and what better way to write a story than about one's own pet? Maybe they get too many of those stories? Must bed!

    Anyway, Jess, can you please check your e-mail...I have a question to ask you about bees...well, it's a concern from a blogger friend of mine!

    Thanks so much!
    Good bless!
    Doris ;-)

  3. How totally sweet!! I can so relate, I've got a few hen loving boys of my own!

  4. I like the stanza about the chicken soup! And I think the reality of the chicken dying is something that is needed in children's literature... it is really done in a child-friendly way. (Carrie)

  5. Well, you should know the ones that really count are your readers... and we think you're awesome.
    I'm so sorry Oliver about your pet hen dying. I'm glad she had you for a friend.
    How is the other hen Bea doing?

  6. Thanks for the nice feedback guys. :) Bea is doing really well. She is laying eggs now. She is still best buddies with Honey!