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'Kenny the Chicken' is winning entry in writing contest sponsored by the Iowa Reading Associaition

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Storm Lake students wrote stories for the annual Creative Writing Celebration, sponsored by the Iowa Reading Association. The story, "One Brave Chicken," by third grader Jeffrey Khamphasouk, was selected by Quint County Reading Association and was sent on to state competition where it was selected for first place in the kindergarten through third grade division.

Jeffrey has been invited to meet with author Joanne Kuster at the State Conference in Des Moines on April 2. The winners will also receive awards and have the chance to read their stories.

Jeffrey said he chose to write about Kenny the chicken because "I have a cousin named Kenny and I like to eat chicken!"

He is the son of Noukone Khamphasouk and Phanavanh Xayavath and is in Mrs. Butterfield's classroom.

Here is Jeffrey's winning story.

One Brave Chicken

By Jeffrey Khamphasouk

Once upon a time there was a big, white, fluffy feathered chicken named Kenny. Kenny lived in a chicken coop at Farmer Bob's. He was not liked by the other chickens on the farm because he was so bossy. He also ate more than his share of the corn they were fed.

One day Kenny was looking for some corn to eat and couldn't find any so he pecked at Farmer Bob's front door. Farmer Bob opened the door, but he didn't know what Kenny wanted. Kenny opened his beak so Farmer Bob knew what he wanted. He gave Kenny some corn. When Kenny finished eating the corn he was very full and happy so he went to the chicken coop and fell fast asleep.

Every day Kenny would ask the other chickens to give him their corn. When they wouldn't, Kenny went back to to Farmer Bob's and pecked at his door. Each day Farmer Bob gave him corn. Kenny got very, very fat. He was so fat that it was hard for him to find a place to sleep in the chicken coop.

One summer night Kenny saw a good spot to sleep up on the roost and another chicken got there before Kenny and would not move. Kenny got so angry and yelled so loudly that some of his chicken feathers even popped off.

Farmer Bob heard all the noise from the chicken coop and went to check on things. All the chickens were quiet. Farmer Bob thought it must have just been his imagination. So he got in his Buick truck and went to Johnny's gas station to buy some milk and bread.

When he got home he checked on the chickens and then went inside to make some fried eggs and put them on his fresh bread. It was very good with his cold milk, he thought.

In September, Farmer Bob moved to a new farm in Michigan. He got there by driving his Buick truck. He was very tired when he got there so he took a long nap. When he woke up, he knew he had forgotten his chickens at his old farm. He had to get back in his truck and drive back to Springfield, Illinois to get his chickens.

When he got back to his old farm, the chickens were still there but they were very hungry and thirsty. He fed them and then put them in a cage to take back to Michigan. It took a long time to travel.

All the chickens were very happy at their new farm and in their new coop except for Kenny. Kenny saw a mean weasel and knew weasels like to eat fat, adult chickens and baby chicks. Kenny had to make a plan how to get the weasel to leave the chickens alone.

One night when everyone was asleep the weasel tip toed into the chicken coop and had a very big meal. In the morning Farmer Bob counted the chickens and there were only nineteen chickens. He thought there were supposed to be twenty. The next night the weasel came and two more chickens got eaten. Farmer Bob knew there must be a weasel around eating his chickens. Farmer Bob was very angry. Now he only had seventeen chickens left. He went to his house to get his rifle and loaded it with three bullets.

Now, Kenny didn't like the chickens being eaten by the weasel so he wanted to help Farmer Bob. He didn't like guns either and wasn't sure he wanted the weasel to get shot. What could he do?

Each time Kenny tried to follow Farmer Bob he was put back into the chicken coop. The next night when the weasel visited the chicken coop for his next tasty meal, Kenny was waiting for him. It was a good thing Kenny was bossy and brave. Kenny flew down from the roost and landed on top of the weasel. He dug his chicken claws into the weasel's fur and pecked at his ears. When he knew he had the weasels attention he told him to stop eating the chickens.

"Farmer Bob has a rifle and plans to kill you unless you can prove to him you are not bad. It is your choice to leave the rest of the chickens alone or die," he said to the weasel.

"I promise to be friends with the chickens." said the weasel. "Please get your claws off of my back."

The next day Farmer Bob saw the weasel playing in the chicken yard with all of the chickens. He wasn't hurting them. Farmer Bob thought that was odd, but was happy the weasel wasn't chasing his chickens. Now he wouldn't have to shoot the weasel.

Kenny was happy he had come up with a plan to save the chickens and the weasel. All the chickens thought Kenny was a hero and they all lived together happily ever after on Farmer Bob's farm.

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