Charlie's Chicken

Fan Fiction for "Charlotte's Web" by Susan

"What's in there?" questioned Charlie Zuckerman. He was in the kitchen washing dishes when his Dad came in setting a large box on the table "Rhode Island Reds," he replied taking the top off. Father and Son gazed admirably at the fluffy orange chicks.

"Hey, there's a black one," cried eight year old Charlie. Mr Zuckerman caught the little black chick and handed it to his son. "I'll let you have him if you take care of the rest," offered his father. Charlie vigorously nodded his head, "Oh Boy! Yes!".

For many mornings to come Charlie woke up extra early to tend to his charges. At first the little chicks ran to the opposite side of the box when he was taking the feeder and waterer out. But when they learned he was bringing the food, they soon forgot their fears and would scamper about, impatiently waiting for the bowl of mash.
The little black chick was named Deborah. She adored her young master, especially when he gave her scraps from his supper or took her out to explore the vast unknown (Kitchen). "Charlie!" cried Edith, his mother, "Put that little chick back in her box." Mrs. Zuckerman was an animal lover....if they stayed out of her kitchen. "Oh but Mom," pleaded Charlie, "I'm training her to do tricks. See?" He then proceeded to show his Mother how Deborah could balance on his shoulder like a parrot and follow him wherever he went. "That is very nice dear, but I don't want her in the chicken, I mean kitchen!! So put her back," Mrs. Zuckerman was on the verge of laughter, but she didn't want her boy to grow up uncivilized, so she tried to look stern. After Charlie put his pet back, he started setting the table for dinner. (Knock Knock), someone was at the door."Charlie can you answer that?," asked his mother. But there was no need because their guest was already in the kitchen. "Good Morning, Aunt Edith," said Fern Just returning from her trip overseas. "Oh Fern!" cried Mrs. Zuckerman hugging her niece. Hearing the commotion Mr. Zuckerman joined the merry group along with the farmhand Lurvy. With all the excitement Poor Deborah was forgotten. "Tweet, tweet," cried Deborah "Tweet, tweet." No one was coming! "Well, of all things!" she thought. But just because Charlie wasn't coming to her, didn't mean she couldn't come to him! And so, aiming for the top of the waterer she bends her knees and jumps up, but misses. Trying again she makes it!. Her next goal is the box top! Flapping her wings she leaps into the air, landing safely on the edge of the box, "Tweet Tweet!" (or in english "I'm free!) Then hopping to the ground she ran Helter-skelter looking for Charlie. "Tweet! (Charlie!), tweet! (Charlie!, Why is he not coming?)" Mr. Zuckerman and Lurvy left to get washed up for dinner and Mrs.Zuckerman went to the stove to do the finishing touches. Fern was helping Charlie finish the table then she heard the little chick and smiled because it had run into her shoe. "Charlie, I think your friend is looking for you." Fern had never lost the touch for understanding animals and sometimes it looked like Charlie could understand them too. Scooping up Deborah, he quickly turned his back to his mother. "Hey, you're supposed to stay in the box," he whispered, close to her ear. Deborah just looked at him slyly and cocked her head.