So, where did we get Peppy? Peppy was one of those poor chicks that the stores used to give away at Easter...sometimes dyed pink, green and blue to look pretty in an Easter basket. My dad did not get us any of these chicks. He had learned his lesson a few years earlier when he got us ducklings that lived to be huge quacking ducks leaving messes all over the back yard. We were young and still lived in the city at the time. The ducks found a new home with a nice pond and other ducks. My father did not want us to have dyed chicks...said it wasn't natural and kind of mean to the chicks.
One day a little neighbor boy brought a box to our house. He asked if my sister, Linda, and I could fix his chicken. We opened the box and saw a poor, limp adolecent chicken on its side. His mom was going to throw it out because it was sick. We told him that we would take his chicken and try to make it well, but that if it lived we would keep it. He could visit, but the chicken stayed here.
Peppy did get better. Linda and I nursed him back to health with the help of Black Beauty. Black Beauty would check Peppy's basket daily washing his feathers and we often found them napping together. Peppy grew into a handsome rooster strutting around looking quite proud. Most of what he learned was from Black Beauty...so he developed a bit of an identity problem...thinking he was a cat.
Every morning Peppy would hop up the basement steps (where he slept each night on top of the ping pong table) and peck on the door...hop to the back door and then spend the day outside. He learned that from BB...watching BB sit at the door meowing until someone let him in or out. Peppy and BB were great pals but winter was approaching, and our mother did not want a rooster roosting on the ping pong table. We needed to find a new home for Peppy.
Fortunately, our best friends lived on a farm with pigs, steer, cows and chickens! They even knew Peppy and said he could come live on the farm. I wasn't too sad as we took Peppy to the farm. He would be happier with other chickens. We carried him out to the chicken yard, released him, and walked back to the house. We visited with our friends for the afternoon and then headed home only to find Peppy roosting by a tree with the cats.
It took Peppy a few months to realize that he was not a cat. He would sit in front of the door to get inside, but was shooed back to the chicken yard. He stayed with the cats, ate with the cats and slept with the cats. Once he became comfortable with his chicken self he began spending time with the other chickens and soon became king of the chicken yard. Once he found a way into the barn where the chicken feed was stored and pecked holes in the bags inviting all the chickens to join him in a feast.
Peppy lived the rest of his life with the chickens. He still spent time with the cats and tried to get into the house, but he gradually, to the relief of our friends,stayed with the rest of the chickens. Our friends said they had never known a chicken like Peppy...but please, if we come upon another...find a differnt home for it. There was no room for another Peppy...the chicken who thought he was a cat.