When I was a little girl my grandparents had a few chooks to keep them in eggs. They started with three but as the years went by only one remained. She was a homely little black chook that went by the name of "Murtle".
Unfortunately I do not have a photo of Murtle, but this is what she looked like although I think she was a little plumper.
I have very fond memories of Murtle. When visiting, my Grandmother would invite me to check for eggs. This was always an exciting job because we did not have any chickens at home. Discovering a warm egg in the nest was a thrill!
But the best part was that Murtle was always happy to see me. She was not the kind of chook that chased you around the chicken coop, and she was not the kind to sit on her eggs all day long. This pleased me immensely because reaching underneath a chook to gather eggs was far too much of a mystery for a small child. Who knows what I would find or accidentally grab.
Murtle seemed only too happy for me to collect her egg when I visited. And what made the exercise even more memorable was the little hand woven basket my grandmother had made for the purpose. It was barely large enough to hold 3 small eggs, and made of thick twine so that the eggs were cushioned from the clumsy nature of small hands.
Murtle lived for many years and was a comfort to my Grandmother while she lived on her own. Then one day Murtle died.
A few years later when my Grandmother passed away we returned to her home. While sorting through her things I was delighted to find the little basket, a little swashed but still in good condition.
Its uncovering was perfect because I now had small children of my own and some pet chooks, one for each of them. They were exactly like the ones shown in the photo here. Their names were Fluffy, Scruffy and Peck.
So the little basket came home with me that day and into the hands of the next generation of egg gatherers.
But each time I see it I think of my Grandmother and her black chook Murtle.
In light of this story you will understand why I had to include Hickety Pickety in my new Nursery Rhyme Quilt design.
Hope you like her.
Until next time.