by Martha Hynson
Chapter Two: Fresh Eggs
Macy zipped to her place at the kitchen table. There sat a little white basket holding a pinkish egg. “It’s fresh from the nest,” Mama said.
Macy held the egg against her cheek. It felt warm. She tossed it in the air. How many times could she clap before it came down? One, two, three. Bam! The part of the shell that hit the table crunched and crumbled. Mama put her hands on her hips and shook her head at Macy, but her mouth was smiling a little bit.
“Can I gather the rest of the eggs now?” Macy bounced up and down in her chair. “Please, please, please?”
Mama picked up the egg and peeled off the shell. “Eat first, then we’ll see.”
Macy ate the egg speedy quick. The yellow inside part was her favorite. Bella would love it, too. Macy just had to get an egg to share with her.
“I’m all done eating,” Macy sang. Mama might not have heard that song because she had left the room. Macy’s shoulders did a shrug. Then she grabbed the basket and zoomed outside. Her favorite chicken pecked at some corn on the cob that Daddy had hung in the coop. “One day, you can go to school with me, Flappy. I promise.” Macy gave the chicken a pat, then grabbed two eggs. She put them carefully in the basket and raced back inside. Then she tucked the basket in her backpack.
A few minutes later, Macy gave Mama a hug and climbed on the bus. Only a few kids had been picked up so far. Macy skipped past four empty seats. One, two, three, four. She liked to sit in the back and wave out the window. She hopped past the next two seats. Five, six…
A skinny arm stuck out from seat number seven. Macy knew that arm. It belonged to a boy in her class named Jackson. She stopped hopping.
“Want to see a surprise?” Macy unzipped her backpack and held it so Jackson could see inside.
Jackson stood to get a better look. “Hey, what are you doing with those eggs?”
“Move over and I’ll tell you.”
Jackson scooted next to the window.
Macy plopped on the seat beside him and took the basket out of her backpack. “Daddy got me some pet chickens. I get to gather eggs every morning. Except I didn’t have time today. I only got these two.” She set the basket on the seat and pointed to an egg. “This one is for the new girl to have for snack.”
“Did you cook them?” Jackson asked.
Macy leaned back against the bus seat. She put the two eggs on her lap.
“You have a lot to learn,” she told Jackson. “Pet chickens are different from wild chickens. They lay eggs that you don’t have to cook. I ate one for breakfast that Mama had just got from the nest.”
Jackson pointed at an egg. “That one has freckles.”
Macy held it next to her face. “Just like me.” She grinned and stuck her tongue through a hole where a tooth used to be. “I’m going to draw a picture of it in my thinking book and put a face on it.”
She put the eggs back in the basket and pulled her purple notebook out of her backpack.
“Why do you call that your thinking book? It’s just a notebook.” Jackson flipped a corner of the cover.
“No, it’s not.” Macy shoved his hand away. “It has all the important stuff I’m thinking in it.”
“Let me see,” Jackson tried to grab the book, but Macy stuck her elbow in his side.
Mr. White, the bus driver, looked at Macy in his mirror. He had just stopped the bus to pick up more children. “Come on up here and sit behind me, Macy. You can help me remember where to turn.”
Macy stuck her thinking book in her backpack and her nose in the air. She stood up and took one giant step away from seat number seven and the boy who sat there.
“Don’t forget your eggs.” Macy swirled herself around. There was Jackson’s skinny arm poking out again, and at the end of that arm was Macy’s white basket. Humph! Macy grabbed it. But not very hard because those eggs were highly breakable. Then she swirled back around and took giant steps all the way down the middle of the bus. When she came to the seat behind Mr. White, she slid in. Did he really need her to help him remember how to get to school?
She looked out the window. They were next to a field full of cows. What if Mr. White got mixed up and drove into the field? The bus would get stuck. The children would have to ride cows to school. Macy opened her notebook. She drew herself riding a cow with Flappy in her lap, laying an egg.
She was adding freckles to the egg when she heard Jackson say, “I like your picture. Are you thinking about cows?”
Macy looked up. They were at school. Most of the kids were already off the bus. She put her crayon in her pocket, shut her book and stared at Jackson. “No, I’m thinking about my super power called, ‘I can’t hear Jackson.’”
Jackson gave his shoulders a shrug. “But you’re talking to me.”
“I know that, Mr. Genius.” Macy stood and put her hands on her hips. “I can hear me. I just can’t hear you!” She stuck out her tongue.
Mr. White turned around in his seat. “Miss Macy, are you going to get off this bus or are you planning to ride with me to pick up the high school kids?”
Macy thought about that choice. Picking up high school kids did sound fun. But then she would not get to give Bella her egg. “Sorry, I can’t come today. Maybe next time.”
Macy made sure her eggs were safe in the basket so they would not crack.
Mr. White did some tapping with his fingers on the steering wheel.
Macy unzipped her backpack and put her thinking book in.
Mr. White tapped his foot.
Macy put the basket in her backpack and carefully zipped it up.
“Mr. White, you have very good rhythm. I learned that word in music class. She did a little wave. Then she hopped off the bus. She could not wait to give Bella her egg!