Adelaide the Chicken on the Mr. Dressup show

One day our neighbour Mrs. P. said to me:” Did you know we have a new pet? Oh, yes. Walked right into our backyard, cackling away, and made herself at home.” Mrs. P. shook her head. “She’s an odd one,” she said. “I mean, have you ever heard of a chicken that likes beer?”
   “What?” I said. “A chicken walked into your backyard, in downtown Toronto, and she’s a lush?”
   “No no,” said Mrs. P, “she just imbibes a few peck’s worth. And then…Mrs. P. chuckled….and then she goes and stands facing the corner of the room. Like a penitent. We’re calling her “Adelaide”, after……..somebody.”
   “Well,” I said. “Adelaide sounds like a very interesting Bird! I have an idea….”
   I was writing scripts for the children’s television program “Mr. Dressup” and I was always on the look-out for interesting guests to appear on the show. Mrs. P. agreed that children would love to see a live chicken and so I wrote a script with a 10 min. max. segment for the guest: Adelaide the chicken.
(Written so whatever the chicken did or didn’t do,on set, Mr. Dressup or Casey or Finnigan could carry on from there. And Mrs. P would be standing just off camera, for insurance. ((Mrs. P. chuckled at that: “She’s not a dog, you know.”))
   As it turned out, Adelaide the chicken was a natural, on camera. Head high, she stepped this way and that way, and even fluttered her wings a bit, as if to say:
“Well, I finally made it!”
   Mrs. P. and I remembered that, the next day, when Mrs. P. told me that Adelaide had sat on her lap on the drive home from the t.v. studio and that she had quietly died there.
   I was aghast. “Oh, no,” I said. “That’s terrible! Do you think the hot lights…”
   We sat down on the porch steps and talked about Adelaide the chicken.
   “She probably escaped from Kensington Market,” said Mrs. P. “You know they still sell live chickens there.”
   “She escaped and made her way to us,” I was thinking out loud, “and then she finally got her fervent life-long wish: to be a guest on Mr. Dressup’s television show. And then…..she died. Happy!”
   Mrs. P. and I nodded, and then we cackled a bit, saying good bye to Adelaide the Chicken who was a guest on the Mrs. Dressup show.

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