Queenie The Bantam Typed Out For Us By Johnny Riley (aged 11)
“Look!” said Caitlin’s dad.
“What is it?” asked Caitlin’s mum.
“It’s a hen in the lake,” replied dad, and he did not hesitate.
Off came his shoes, off came his socks, off came his hat and off came Caitlin!
Caitlin’s dad knew that the hen was in trouble. Big trouble!
“She’s a bantam” said Mum. “Wrap her up warm,” said Dad.
“What’s your name, then? Hatty? Tessa? Molly?” said Mum. “No, Queenie! I think you’re a Queenie!”
That might have been the end of the story … but it wasn`t!
Queenie was soon very much at home in Bruno`s basket. And, in time, Queenie saw Caitlin’s first steps – one, two, three. Queenie had become one of the family. But Caitlin’s Mum knew that Queenie had a home of her own.
“I think she lives on the farm over the hill from the lake,” said Mum.
So they all set off to the farm. Mum was right. This was Queenie’s home. That might have been the end of the story but it wasn’t!
The next morning Queenie got up before the sun. She flew over the fence, ran along the path and past the churchyard. She went around the lake and through the woods … over the road, across the park … and down the street to Caitlin’s house.
And in Bruno’s basket she laid a single, perfect egg. It was Caitlin who found the egg the next morning and the next and the next - every morning Queenie made the long journey to lay her egg. Only once did they spy on Queenie laying her egg, and never again.
”It didn’t seem right,” said Mum. “It seemed…”
“Private,” said Dad.
And so the weeks turned to months. There were changes in Caitlin’s house. There was a new baby! The story might have ended right there … but it didn’t!
After the new baby came home, Caitlin forgot to collect Queenie’s eggs. Bruno reclaimed his basked and Queenie never returned. Bruno hatched the eggs … CHICKS!
“Those chicks need their mother,” said Mum.
So they all went back to the farm.
“There’s Queenie!” said Caitlin.
Caitlin’s Mum and Dad and the new baby came home with bread and milk and cheese. And quess what Caitlin brought home – a chick!
Bruno made room for yet another addition to the family!
One day the chick will be fully grown and will see Caitlin’s brother take his first steps.

But that’s another story.