Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

The Great Egg Caper: Misadventures of a Texas Chicken King

Once upon a time, a whimsical farmer named Harold lived amidst the sprawling plains and wide-open skies in a small town in the Texas Panhandle. This town, known for its vibrant sunsets that painted the horizon in strokes of orange and purple, was home to Harold's farm—a patch of land as full of life as the characters inhabited it. With his reputation for exceptional agricultural skills and boundless optimism, Harold was especially famous for his chickens, particularly his prized hen, Betsy.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch

One fine morning, as the sun climbed above the vast, flat land, casting long shadows and promising another hot day, Harold sauntered to his chicken coop with a spring in his step. Betsy, his most cherished hen, had been brooding over a clutch of eggs for weeks, and Harold was convinced that today they would hatch. Dreaming bigger than the wide Texas sky, Harold had already named each unborn chick, sold half of them in his mind, and spent the earnings on a fancy new cowboy hat and a pair of boots to match, envisioning himself as the centerpiece of the town parade.

"Why, I'll be the talk of the town," Harold mused aloud, picturing himself in his new attire, the hat tipped to shield his eyes from the relentless sun and boots so polished they reflected the blue sky. "Harold, the Chicken King, they'll call me."

But as Harold approached the coop with his usual cheery, "Good mornin', my fine feathered friends!" the sight that met him wiped his grin off his face. There was Betsy, looking as majestic as ever, but beneath her, instead of a bustling brood of fluffy chicks, lay a single, solitary egg. The rest had vanished into the thin, dry air.

Scratching his head in confusion, Harold turned to his cow, Clarabelle, who watched him with amusement and indifference. "But I counted them, all fifteen!" he exclaimed, sharing his bafflement with Clarabelle, who offered a slow, thoughtful moo as if to question his counting skills.

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As word of the eggs' mysterious disappearance spread, the townsfolk of the Panhandle began weaving tales wilder than the West itself. From theories of a stealthy coyote with a taste for gourmet eggs to whispers of a rival farmer's plot driven by envy of Harold's imminent poultry empire, the speculation was as varied as the landscape.

Amidst the commotion, Harold failed to notice the gleam of mischief in his sheep's eyes. Tired of being second to chickens in Harold's affections, they had taken to soccer, with the eggs as their makeshift ball, accounting for the gradual disappearance of Betsy's brood.

It wasn't until Harold caught the sheep in the act, mid-kick with the last egg, that the lesson truly hit home. "Don't count your chickens before they hatch," he chuckled to himself, the folly of his ways laid bare by the playful antics of his sheep. From that day forward, Harold vowed to base his plans on the tangible, not eggs snug in their shells. And those fancy new cowboy boots and hats? They'd have to wait until the chickens were hatched and strutting around the farmyard.

Reflecting on his adventures at the local diner, over a cup of strong, black coffee and a slice of pecan pie, Harold shared his lesson learned with anyone who'd listen. "I reckon I was counting my chickens before they were hatched," he admitted, drawing a hearty laugh from his friends and neighbors. "Now, I know better than to plan a victory parade for eggs that haven't yet seen the light of day."

Life in the small Texas Panhandle town returned to its usual rhythm, with Harold, a bit wiser and much more humble, tending to his land under the vast sky, his misadventure with the eggs becoming a beloved tale. It served as a humorous reminder to the townsfolk to wait for the rooster's crow before making plans, echoing through the community as a testament to the unpredictability of life and the importance of patience.

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Do you have a funny farm story or a whimsical tale from your hometown that always brings a smile to your face? Share your humorous stories in the comment section below, and let's spread some laughter together!

Feature Photo by Richard Burlton

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