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Bessie's red flannel bloomers.

"Poor Bessie," said Justin to his grandma one day. "Why doesn't Bessie have feathers? All the other chickens do."

"She never grew any," answered

"Cold weather is coming. Bessie will freeze without any feathers," said Justin.

"Well, Justin, I'll have to make her something to wear," said Grandma.

Justin laughed. Bessie wearing clothes? How funny!

But that's exactly what Grandma did.

Later that day Justin went to the chicken coop to gather eggs. When he got there, he couldn't believe his eyes. Bessie was wearing red flannel bloomers and was strutting around like a peacock. Justin laughed and laughed.

The trouble started the day Grandma declared, "We need to wash Bessie's dirty bloomers."

"I'll get them for you, Grandma. Come here, Bessie," called Justin.

Bessie came running. But when Justin tried to take off her bloomers, Bessie squawked, flapped her featherless wings, and ran away.

"Now, Bessie, you come here," shouted Justin as he chased after her.

But Bessie kept running. Round and round they went: past the chicken coop, through the barn, and behind the doghouse. Justin had almost decided that he would never catch that little hen when he noticed his butterfly net. Justin grabbed the net, ran after reluctant Bessie, end slipped the net right over her.

Bessie squawked and cackled.

"Grandma, she's mad. What'll I do now?"

"Just hold still, Justin. OK, Miss Bessie," said Grandma as she reached under the net. "If you won't let us have your bloomers, we'll just wash them and you, too."

Going over to a big washtub, Grandma plopped the little hen, flannel and all, into the water. Bessie didn't even cluck--she was so surprised. But when Grandma tried to take the bloomers off so she could hang them up to dry, Bessie squawked louder than before.

"OK, Miss Bessie," said Grandma. "We'll leave your bloomers on. Chase her until she's dry, Justin."

"OK, Grandma," said. So Justin chased Bessie past the chicken coop, through the barn, and behind the doghouse. Finally, both Bessie and her bloomers were dry.

From that day on, Bessie didn't make a peep whenever she needed her bloomers washed. One bath in that tub was enough for her!
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Author:Denham, Laura F.
Publication:Children's Playmate
Article Type:Short Story
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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