WIPpet Wednesday: More Chickens

I almost forgot! But here I am with another WIPpet.  In case you’ve forgotten over the last 3 weeks, this is a little bit of our works-in-progress.  Add your own here, and don’t forget to read the other wonderful entries!

Today, I have 14 lines of dialogue (because this is the first WIPpet of 2014).  Just for context, my main character, Phin Patterson, is an educational consultant.  He’s observing classroom practices of a school in a small town in the Southern Tier of NY.  In this scene, he’s observing a lesson in which a kindergarten teacher has read a story about a woman who rescues chickens and has a couple as pets.*  She’s given her students a related activity, and Phin finds himself drawn in and paired with an enthusiastic student.


By Kate Sheets from Izmail, Ukraine (Fuzzy Chicken) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“You can be my partner,” she informed him.  “Ms. Scuderi says everyone participates, even if it’s just a picture.”

Startled, Phin replied, “All right. But I’ll need a pencil. Do you have an extra?”

The girl pointed to a cup on the table. “There’s some in there.” She leaned a little closer and said in a loud whisper, “They’re for people who don’t remember to bring one.”

When they had finished, the girl examined Phin’s work and said, “You draw pretty good.”

He smiled. “I’ve had a lot of practice.”

“Does your chicken have a name?” the girl asked.

“Hm…I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I didn’t give him one.”

“Are you sure it’s a him? Because I think it’s maybe a girl chicken. It doesn’t look like a boy.”

Phin laughed. “You got me. Maybe it is a girl. What should we call her?”

The girl looked thoughtful. “Dandelion,” she said.


“Yeah. Look, she has one of those fuzzy heads, like the one in the book. It looks like a dandelion.”

“Sounds good.” Phin took his pencil and wrote on the lines below the picture, “Mr. Patterson and his pet chicken, Dandelion.”

The girl giggled. “Good job,” she said.


*The book is real.  It’s called City Chickens, by Christine Hepperman.  I’ve read it with my own daughter.


6 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: More Chickens

  1. Great child’s voice. And what a cute chicken picture! We had two Rhode Island Red roosters once. A friend’s daughter picked them up at a rummage sale. They were just chicks when she took them home. Problem was, my friend couldn’t keep them so…yeah…they came to live with us. Very well-mannered for roosters, I must say.

  2. After all the places where Phin had clearly been so obnoxious, it’s nice to see his softer side. I get the impression he really WANTS to help kids, but now he’s going to learn how….

  3. Fun! My grandfather used to be something like an educational consultant.

    I may have to go check out that book. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to read and there’s a lady in our neighborhood who keeps hens, so she may be willing to do a presentation. 🙂

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