THE SAMPLING: Rosie Joy by Sophie Siers

It's spring on the farm and springtime is always busy at Rosie Joy's. There are crops to plant and baby lambs everywhere. Rosie Joy and her best friend Polly take on a special spring project involving chickens, peggy squares, famous explorers and some pretty big words! 

 

 

 

 

 

 Reproduced with permission, from Rosie Joy: Here, There and Everywhere, by Sophie Siers (Millwood Press Ltd)

 

 

  

Blue Eggs - Really?

 

Mum is at the kitchen table with books open all around her. Rosie pulls up a chair and looks at the beautiful pictures of chickens parading across the page. Rosie has her own little bantam chicken, Henny Penny, a small and very friendly bird.

 

‘What are you looking for?’ asks Rosie, admiring the pictures.

 

‘Don’t you remember? We talked about letting Henny Penny hatch some eggs. She’s gone clucky so now is the time.’


Rosie does remember. She remembers desperately wanting her own chicks, yellow and tiny and fluffy and cheepy.


‘Why are we choosing from a book?’

 

‘Well, we have to order eggs from someone who has the breed we want. They have to be fertile eggs. Then we will put them under Henny Penny who will sit on them and your own special breed will hatch. Which ones do you like the look of?’

 

They all look beautiful; big, glossy black birds with yellow beaks, little fluffy bantams like Henny Penny, a white bird with black edges on the feathers, and a lavender coloured bird, medium sized with a dark beak.

 

‘I like that one, what is it?’

 

‘It’s an Araucana, they lay blue eggs.’

 

‘Blue eggs! Yuk, I couldn’t eat blue eggs. I would die from sickness! What do they do with them?’

 

‘Blue eggs! Yuk, I couldn’t eat blue eggs. I would die from sickness! What do they do with them?’

 

Mum laughs. ‘They aren’t blue on the inside Rosie, only on the outside of the shell. They’re the colour of duck eggs but inside they are just like an ordinary egg.’

 

Rosie Joy thinks about the colour. Pale blue is her favourite. She thinks about how how lovely a bowl of the blue eggs would look next to a vase of lavender flowers.

 

‘Well they are a pretty colour, I still don’t know that I could eat them though, maybe the blue would leak inside – eeek!’

 

‘What’s this?’ asks Finn, bouncing through the doorway with everything falling from his pockets. ‘Blue eggs? Yum! I would eat six of them with green ham!’

 

‘Green ham!’ Rosie feels her stomach squiggle. ‘Blue eggs and green ham? Gross! And anyway they aren’t blue inside, just on the shell.’

 

. . . ‘Blue eggs? Yum! I would eat six of them with green ham!’ . . . ‘Blue eggs and green ham? Gross! . . .'

 

‘Well I would leave them in the sun for ages until they went blue inside and then I would eat them RAW! And then I would DIE.’ Finn falls to the floor pretending to choke and die, gasping and gagging and rolling.

 

Jamie walks in, ‘Awesome,’ he cries, throwing himself on top of Finn and starting to roll him around the floor. ‘Why are you dying?’

 

‘I ate blue eggs and green ham! I’m dying a painful and horrible death, save me, save me!’

 

‘Save you?’ says Jamie, as he rolls and wrestles him, knocking chairs, bunching up the rug and knocking over a pile of books. ‘Never! I hope you die, you cruel and terrible tyrant, we’re glad you ate blue eggs and green ham, and glad you’re dying!’

 

Rosie is laughing so hard she thinks her sides will split, she has tears squirting from her eyes and her stomach hurts.

 

Dad walks in.

 

‘Blue eggs? Sounds delicious, I love blue eggs, I would eat them with purple carrots. Who has blue eggs?’

 

‘Blue eggs? Sounds delicious, I love blue eggs, I would eat them with purple carrots. Who has blue eggs?’

 

‘I do,’ said Rosie through her laughing tears, ‘well, I will have. I’m hatching some Araucana chickens and then we can all eat blue eggs and die!’

 

Finn starts to play around on his guitar, making up silly songs about Rosie and her eggs. This is normal and Rosie ignores him as he sings.

 

‘Rosie Posie got some eggs, they were blue and we are dead.’

Jamie tickles Rosie under her arms. ‘Hey, little sister, help me with the dishes tonight and I’ll forget you twisted my arm.’


‘Deal,’ says Rosie as she turns to ask her mother about explorers.

 

‘Were they all boys?’

 

‘Certainly not!’ her mum replies rummaging through the kitchen drawer for her sharp little knife. ‘Of course there were female explorers.’

 

‘Like who?’

 

‘Well, ummm, lots I’m sure. It’s just that I can’t think of any right now.’ She starts peeling an apple from the top, beginning the long peel piece that Rosie loves to eat. ‘Things were different in the exploring days Rosie. Women weren’t allowed to do lots of things that we think of as normal now. They had to stay at home and be ‘ladylike’. Anyway, here’s your peel. Let’s order your eggs and get this table cleaned up.’

 

Rosie stretches out her long piece of apple peel and starts to nibble. The eggs are exciting but the exploring information is not. If her mum can’t think of any famous girl explorers then there can’t be many. Also Rosie isn’t entirely sure how to start her exploring and there are the eggs to consider; she couldn’t leave them or the baby chickens. She flicks through the book and comes to a section titled:

 

 

Hatching your Chickens
STARTING OUT

    
Hatching chickens naturally is one of life’s greatest pleasures. As a young rearer you are about to embark on a great adventure. Once your chickens have hatched, you will join a very exclusive club of a privileged few who have experienced this true wonder of nature. 

 

The Golden Rules of natural hatching are: tender loving care, attention to detail and keeping it simple.
 

First you need to SET your eggs. This means putting the eggs under a broody hen and have her accept them. Setting your eggs or moving your hen is best done at night when she is sleepy. Mother hens are the lions of the bird world and while defending her eggs and chicks, the hen may well peck you very hard. Of course you may be lucky enough to have developed a true friendship with your hen in which case she may well let you share in the egg hatching without displaying aggression.

    
Your precious eggs will take twenty-one days to hatch from when you set them.

 

 

Rosie is very impressed. Clearly this book is exactly what she needs to help her hatch her eggs. She decides that it will be her faithful companion on her egg adventure.

 

‘Goodness Mum, they take twenty-one days to hatch! I could grow my nails in that time.’

 

‘Good things take time Rosie Joy!’

 

Rosie Joy

by Sophie Siers

Illustrated by Judith Trevelyan

Published by Millwood Heritage Press

RRP $20.00

 

 

Buy now

 

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