It was the week before Christmas
and all through the house
there wasn’t a sound
‘cept for that damn mouse.

Then out in the garden
there arose such a clatter,
I shuffled out in my bathrobe
to see what was the matter!

And what to my sorry dismay did I see
destruction and chaos in my poor lettuce bed.
All of our salad greens, once healthy and green,
lay splayed out on the dirt, dug up and dead.

I put on my thinking cap
to determine who was it,
who could get through that small gap,
to both enter and exit.

I considered a raccoon
but there wasn’t enough room,
a bunny can’t climb up
a snake wouldn’t dig up.

The thought of a coyote eating lettuce
is plain silly,
and I haven’t seen ground squirrels
since the weather got chilly.

A rat could have done it,
but the perp left a scat!
The evidence was clearly
not pointing to a rat!

Given the clue
the offender was quite obvious
the proof was in the poo
a chicken had done this.

Now, Lucy and Ethel, I know they’re too big.
India and Bebe can’t fly worth a fig.
Chicana could do it, but somehow I knew
the most likely culprit
was little Cashew.

I gathered the suspects,
and when they were lined up,
I assured them I’d be lenient
if the guilty chick ‘fessed up.

Then what to my wondering ears should I hear
a miniature cluck-clucking in words barely clear.
“I was just helping with weeding,
eating bugs, snails and such.
I never meant to cause
such a big Christmas ruckus.”

So I gave little Cashew
a pardon for Christmas.
Grumbling and mumbling
‘bout planting more lettuce.

And I heard Cashew mutter,
as she marched back to her coop,
“Thanks, I’ll lay you an Easter egg.
And next time,
I’ll be sure not to poop!”

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