The adventures of Molly and the Old Man

It’s raining again

As the rain came down, Maggie watched through her kitchen window. It’d been raining for months but Maggie didn’t mind. She loved watching the rain as it danced on the pool and ran down the leaves of her precious trees. She also loved watching the Old Man’s chickens run for cover, they were funny little things.

Their bee hive was thriving, and they were regularly collecting honey from their clever little bees. Maggie and the kids would put on their ‘space suits’, aka bee keeper suits, and head out to collect the honey. Then the kids would come in and make honey toast.

‘Mum, this is delicious.’ Teddy would say, taking a bite of his freshly made hot honey toast.

‘Look at this Mum!!’ Jem squealed as honey would run down her arm and she’d lick it up. Teddy and Jem laughed.

Maggie smiled as she thought about her beautiful life, she truly felt blessed.


Meanwhile, at the Old Man’s home, the chickens had found refuge from the rain under his raised garden beds. The Old Man had spent months making the garden beds and he wanted them up high so he didn’t have to bend down as much. He hadn’t intended for them to be a home for the chickens but they liked them.

The Old Man was standing on his deck, looking out over his backyard, when all of a sudden he noticed some movement in the chicken run. He wasn’t sure what it was so he stood quietly and watched. There were little shadows moving, bobbing up and down. 

The Old Man knew it wasn’t his chickens. He wondered, was it those pesky ducks or birds down there? They were right under the chicken coop, which was where the chicken food was, so whatever they were, they were definitely filling their bellies.

Then, as if they noticed they were being watched, their little heads came up fully and they started walking out of the run.

‘Ahhhh’ the Old Man said, ‘Pesky Ducks.’ 

Knowing they were trapped, but also knowing he wasn’t fast enough to get down there and lock them in, the Old Man looked to Indie and thought, ‘she’s quick enough…’ then he had another thought, ‘or is she? Let’s see.’

‘DUCK, DUCK, DUCK.’ The Old Man yelled and Indie knew exactly what he was saying and she was off.

But she didn’t know where she was off too.

She instinctively ran to the pool, no ducks there.

Then she ran around the pool fence, still no ducks there.

Then she looked up and saw them in the chicken coup, ‘ah-ha’ she said, and she raced as hard as she could.

The ducks were well on their way out of the chicken run once they felt the Old Man looking at them. They knew he was slow so they had plenty of time, even if he did try to come and hunt them down.

They also knew that Indie wasn’t a threat, whilst she wanted to be quick, she was more steam than chase.

So they kept eating, savouring every bite right up until the last moment and only then did they know it was time to go, Al said, ‘Johnny, it’s time for us to leave.’

John looked up at Al, with an ‘are you crazy?’ look, there was so much more food to be eaten.

Al nodded towards the Old Man, John turned his head around and said ‘ok, got it.’

‘Brad, Phoebe, Matty, it’s time to go. Get up quietly and let’s walk calmly towards the gate. There’s no rush, we’ve got plenty of time.’ Al instructed.

Matty and Phoebe followed John and Al to the gate, Brad was in denial, ‘Really? This tucker is too good! Do we have to go?’ 

Matt laughed, ‘Do you remember last time? If you want to be marinated duck legs, then sure stay, but if you’d rather come back later…and eat some more…’

Matt teased Brad with his words and he knew he didn’t need to finish that sentence, Brad would understand and Brad did, he got up begrudgingly and waddled towards the gate.

They all heard the Old Man yell out ‘DUCK, DUCK, DUCK, and Phoebe quacked out ’Run, Run, Run.’ 

All 5 of them took off sprinting towards the gate and then took off in flight just as Indie came barking after them.

‘Damn she’s getting quicker.’ John said.

‘Yeah, she must be getting a good workout chasing us.’ Al said, and they all cracked up laughing as they flew back to their pond.


The ducks landed gently on the pond, gliding into their home amongst the reeds. They’d live there forever and didn’t know any different. They felt safe, warm and loved.

The owners of their property would bring them food every afternoon and would even look after them if they were sick. They built them a child’s cubby house so they could create their own nesting boxes if they wanted, and the ducks loved it.

‘Where have you lot been?’ Nanna Duck asked angrily.

‘We’ve been…’ Nanna cut John off.

‘Don’t tell me, you’ve been causing havoc at the Old Man’s house!’ The ducks didn’t answer.

Nanna Duck continued, ‘Haven’t I told you not to mess with him?’ Her wing coming out and pointing at them. ‘He’s not a nice man and he will eat you!’ 

She was genuinely worried about them, and they knew it but they also knew the fun they had over at his place. 

‘We were just having something to eat Nanna.’ Matt said.

‘There’s plenty of food here, what does he have that we don’t?’ 

‘Well…nothing, but he gets cranky with us and that’s fu…’ John was about to say ‘funny’ but Nanna wasn’t having any of it.

‘It won’t be funny when you don’t get to come home because that dog’s got you in it’s mouth and broken your leg or broken your neck. You kids don’t think.’

Everyone was quiet for a moment. The ducks were looking down at the ground, staying away from Nanna’s cranky eyes.

‘Promise me you’ll stay away or at least you won’t go into that chicken run, where you can locked in.’

No one spoke, they knew they couldn’t promise, especially Brad, he was planning on going back later.

‘But the food Nanna, it’s soooo good?’

She looked sternly at Brad saying ‘PROMISE ME.’

Brad sighed, he knew Nanna was serious and he had to say it, even if he didn’t mean it, ‘Ok Nanna, I promise, I’ll be good.’

‘If I find any of you over there, you’ll be on poo duty for a week, do you understand me?’

Everyone chimed in together, ‘yes Nanna.’

‘Good, now come and give your Nanna a hug, I’ve missed you.’

That was Nanna, mad one minute and your best friend the next, she could turn on and off like that so quickly, the ducks couldn’t even keep up.


Maggie and Shelley had been having a cup of tea, waiting for the kids to get off their bus. Shelley’s youngest daughter, Amy, was Teddy’s best friend and they lived just down the road.

Maggie and Shelley would often catch up for a quick bite or a cup of tea to talk about life and the kids. They had a lot in common and believed in similar things, that our bodies are magical and if supported in the right way, they could heal.

Shelley had a love for crystals and her home was covered in them. Since Maggie and Shelley met, Maggie had accumulated lots of crystals – tumblers, pendants, wands, balls – you name it Maggie had it.

Maggie had crystals for each of their birth stones, crystals for healing and crystals to bring more love into their home. She scattered them through out their home and then on a full moon, Maggie and the kids would go on a crystal hunt to find them all and then put them outside, under the full moon, to re-energise them.

It was a fun thing that they did together. 

Shelley on the other hand had way too many crystals for that, but on the full moon she insisted her whole family slept with their curtains open so the light from the full moon could flood their home and energise the crystals that way. Also helping them all to connect to the circadian rhythms and bring them back into balance, which helped bring their home back into balance too.

Maggie and Shelley walked out the front as the bus pulled up.

‘Mum, Mum,’ Teddy yelled as he got off the bus, running towards her, ‘Look,’ he looked down at his hands and Maggie could see he had beautiful flowers drawn all over his hands.

‘How gorgeous are your flowers Teddy!’ 

‘I know, we had an art project, and it was the best ever. They gave us these pens, that aren’t harmful,’ he looked up at his Mum, making sure she wasn’t mad that he had pen all over his hands, ‘and told us to draw. I chose to draw your garden Mum.’

Maggie listened to every word Teddy said, she wasn’t mad. Whilst she didn’t like ‘toxic’ things in their life, she also knew that our wonderful bodies can heal and that nothing is forever. The fact that Teddy had chosen to draw Maggie’s garden made her smile so wide, it was magical.

‘Oh Teddy, that’s so amazing. Thank you for drawing my garden, you did an incredible job.’

Teddy was reassured, he smiled back at his Mum and said ‘see, even Milo’s in your garden.’

He pointed to a circle with little triangle ears, and a body that had a tail. ‘Of course it’s Milo, the one and only,’ Maggie exclaimed, hugging Teddy in.

‘Jem,’ Maggie noticed Jem was close by too, she was talking to her friend Joey, who lived just down the road.

‘See ya,’ Jem said to Joey.

‘See ya tomorrow Jem,’ Joey said back.

Maggie put her arm out and Jem came in for a cuddle, ‘Hi Mum,’ she said looking up and smiling at her Mum.

‘Hi beautiful girl.’ Maggie said, ‘How was your day?’

‘It was wonderful Mum, we had art today too, but we didn’t get to do what Teddy did, maybe next time.’

‘Yes, maybe next time. Well let’s go home and have some afternoon tea.’


They turned to cross the road, waving goodbye to Shelley, with her tribe of four – Amy, Chloe, Lance and Audrey.

As they entered their home, the kids put down their bags and collected their lunchboxes and drink bottles, putting them up on the bench.

Maggie had freshly baked cookies and fruit for them, and the kids quickly devoured everything whilst sitting at the kitchen bench.

‘Look Mum,’ Jem said. She was pointing out the window to a little black and white bird sitting on the pool gate. She was only a baby and she appeared to be eating something. ‘What’s she doing?’ Jem asked.

‘She comes to visit every day, actually, I see her a few times a day Jem. She flies in and she always comes to the pool gate. I think she come to eat the spiders and their prey.’ Maggie smiled, raising her eyebrows at Jem.

‘Coooolll.’ Teddy said. ‘I bet she gets well fed.’

‘I bet she does too Teddy.’ Maggie said smiling at him.

They all sat and watched the bird, pecking away at the pool gate pole, having a lovely time and then she flew away.

‘Oh she’s gone,’ Jem said sadly.

‘Yes, but she’ll be back, she always comes back.’ Maggie assured her.

‘Can you tell me next time you see her?’ Jem asked her Mum, ‘I wonder where her home is?’ 

Maggie knew she didn’t need to answer this question for Jem, it was just something Jem wondered.

‘I’m going to call her Mia.’ Jem declared.

‘Nah, we should call her sling shot, or something like that.’ Teddy said.

Jem laughed, ‘Would you call one of the Old Man’s chickens sling shot? I don’t think so.’

‘Hmmm I guess not.’ Teddy agreed.

‘Well, Mia it is.’ Maggie said.

Jumping off his stool, Teddy declared, ’I’m going to the Old Man’s.’

‘No your not, at least not until your homework’s done.’

‘But Mum, the chickens are my homework and besides, Amy’s coming too. She’ll be here soon because we’re doing a project for school and we’re counting the eggs to see how many they lay. Did you know that chickens only lay every 24 to 26 hours? Which means, not every chicken will lay every day – well it could mean that, so we’re doing a study.’ Teddy said, with a serious look on his face.

‘A study?’ Maggie was curious, she didn’t believe Teddy knew what the word study meant.

‘Yeah Mum, when you study something, you pay attention to what’s happening to it. We’re going to do it for a week and then we’re giving a presentation to our class. We’re going to take pictures and everything.’

Maggie was impressed, ‘you seem really excited about this buddy.’

‘I am Mum, and I know it’s going to be great.’

Maggie wasn’t sure whether or not to believe Teddy, but when there was a knock at the door and Amy was there with her camera, she knew that some of it had to be true.

‘Well ok, you two head off and I look forward to hearing all about what you find.’

‘And seeing my photos Maggie.’ Amy smiled and held up her camera to Maggie.

‘Exactly, and seeing your photos Amy.’


Amy and Teddy headed out the door for the Old Man’s home. They hadn’t told the Old Man what they were doing but Teddy knew the Old Man would be fine with it, well at least he hoped he would.

When they got to the Old Man’s house they knocked on the door but there was no answer. 

‘Come on,’ Teddy waved to Amy and headed around the back. ‘He’s probably out back.’

Amy followed Teddy and they made their way over the side fence, and around the house. There was the Old Man sitting on his deck.

‘Hello.’ Teddy and Amy said.

The Old Man didn’t answer.

They walked up next to him and he looked asleep.

‘Do you think he’s dead?’ Amy whispered to Teddy.

‘Nah, see he’s breathing.’ Teddy pointed to his chest.

The Old Man grumbled awake, he looked crankier than ever, ‘What are you doin’ here?’ He said with his brow all screwed up.

‘We came to see the chicken.’ Teddy said with a smile. He was used to the Old Man being grumpy, but Amy was a bit weary.

The Old Man looked at Amy and said ‘and who are you?’ She hadn’t been at his home before, even though he’d seen her in Teddy’s backyard and riding around the streets.

Amy smiled, ‘I’m Amy, nice to meet you.’ She put out her hand.

The Old Man wasn’t sure about that, however, he stood up and grabbed her hand and gave it a quick shake, but he had a perplexed look on his face.

Teddy looked around the Old Man’s farm, ‘Where are the chickens?’ He couldn’t see them anywhere.

‘They’re down there somewhere.’ The Old Man nodded down the back. 

Teddy couldn’t see them, but he figured they’d find them. ‘Come on,’ He said to Amy.

They left the Old Man and headed down the back. Teddy looked back over his shoulder, ‘How many eggs today?’ He called out to the Old Man.

‘None, yet.’

‘Can I collect them?’

‘Sure, don’t drop any.’

‘Ok,’ Teddy said.

‘Wait here a minute,’ Teddy said to Amy, and Teddy ran back to the Old Man’s porch to pick up his  egg container. 

The Old Man watched him and smiled on the inside, this kid is smart. 

With the container in his hand, Teddy said ‘just to make sure.’

The Old Man nodded and went inside.


Teddy and Amy walked down to the chicken run. They still couldn’t see the chickens but they were listening out of them.

‘Where do you think they are?’ Amy asked.

‘Oh, they generally hide a bit further down, under those trees back there. It’s cooler and they scratch around in the ground finding worms and yummy things they like to eat. Plus, they like to sit in the soil, it’s helps keep all the bugs off them. Mum says it’s like having a bath.’

They both laughed, a soil bath sounded silly to them.

‘Watch out for the poo.’ Teddy pointed to the ground where Amy was about to step.


‘It’s poo central in here!’

‘POO CENTRAL,’ the kids burst out laughing again.

They tip toed through the poo, making sure they didn’t step on any, as best as they could.

Beth popped her head out from underneath the wooden crate, watching the kids as they manoeuvred through the land mines. She chuckled to herself, waiting for one to explode, but the kids did well – they manage to avoid them on the way in.

‘The Old Man needs to rake this out.’ Teddy said.

‘Yeah, but maybe we can do that for him?’ Amy wondered.


Teddy opened the side door to the chicken coup.

‘How many eggs?’

‘4 today.’

‘Great, let me take a photo.’ Amy pulled our her camera and got a few shots. Some of the eggs up close, noting that the chickens all laid in the same spot, despite having lots of space, and then a couple of longer shots, showing more of the coup – their home.

‘All yours.’ Amy said to Teddy.

Teddy reached in and gently picked up each egg – one at a time, there was no rush and he wanted to make sure they were all safe and sound in their new home.

Teddy closed the coup door and they wandered out of the run, ready to find the chickens.


Amy stepped in chicken poo, ‘OH NO!!’ She called out.

‘YUCK,’ Teddy screwed up his face, looking at the poo on Amy’s shoe. 

Then he laughed, both kids laughed. 

‘Is it stinky?’

“I’m sure it is, wanna smell?’ Amy laughed, lifting her shoe towards Teddy.

‘Ha ha, no!’ Teddy shook his head. ‘You can walk it off.’

‘I’ll clear it in the scrub, if not, I’ll wash it later.’

Beth had a giggle, she had been willing the poo-explosion to happen. She watched as Amy, unaware that the poo was there, put her foot down on the poo and it popped. First exploding out from under Amy’s shoe and then oozing, as the final bits of the poo settled.

‘Fabulous.’ Beth said, as she rested on her wooden deck.

The kids made their way down towards the back of the Old Man’s property, careful to look out for snakes and spider webs. They focused only on where the chickens could be and as soon as they could hear them, they headed towards them, quietly so as not to disturb the chickens.

‘Can you see them?’ Amy whispered.

‘Not yet, I can hear them though.’ Teddy said.

‘Yeah me too.’

Amy and Teddy were looking intently. Amy with her camera, ready to take photos and Teddy holding on tightly to the eggs.

‘There they are,’ Amy pointed towards the big tree, they were nestled in the ground under it.

‘Busin’’ Teddy said.

They stopped and Amy brought her camera up to her face, taking a few photos. Then she zoomed in and took a few more. ‘Let’s get a bit closer,’ she said.

They took a few more steps forward. 

Molly and Mavis had noticed the kids, but they knew Teddy and weren’t worried.

‘What’s the girl doing?’ Molly asked Mavis.

‘I don’t know, maybe she’s got food.’ Mavis wondered.

‘Food,’ Robyn heard Mavis say, ‘where?’

‘Over there,’ Mavis pointed to the kids.

‘Let’s go check.’

The girls stood up and walked towards the kids. Amy was able to get some amazing photos of the chickens walking towards them and then, the chickens were all around their feet, in a circle. 

Teddy and Amy were laughing, turning around in circles themselves. Amy was taking more photos and Teddy was even able to pick Jan up. They were having the most magical afternoon.

You may also like

Leave a comment