Sitting With the Angels Who Have Returned With My Memories
The Chicken Chronicles
Chapter Thirty- One
© 2010 by Alice Walker
 Dearest Girls,
I’ve noticed recently that you are almost too big to be cuddled in my lap.  Not really, but you are pretty big. The real concern is that I can’t take you with me when I’m not here and cuddle you when Mommy is feeling anxious.  So guess what?
You would never guess because you couldn’t imagine it; which Mommy couldn’t either until it happened.  There she was in a huge Chain Store (Chain Store? Store Chain?  Like your nesting boxes, one after the other, all the same) and she was looking for new bed sheets.  Mommy’s sheets were all years old and beginning to shred at the corners.  Every time she changed her linens (like your straw which Mommy needs to change soon) she discovered a new hole.  So off she went to this place.  Huge. Mommy felt like a dwarf.  But she found sheets, lots of them.  Though whether they are made of the cotton that hasn’t been poisoned or not she wasn’t able to discover.  When she asked the woman selling them she just said Huh? Mommy decided she would buy the sheets and wash them many times and then hang them in the sun.  And pray. 
Anyhow, as she was trolling the aisles with her cart, mind boggled by all the things humans make and manage to sell, her eye fell on a huge box of colorful smallish pillows in different shapes.  She punched one of them:  how soft!  She wondered what was in it.  She picked up another, orange (Mommy loves orange: the color and the fruit, also sun) and she liked it a lot.  But then she saw a pillow shaped like a little human, and it was in all different colors and with peace signs all over it.  It made Mommy happy just to see it; not only because she was around in the Sixties when the peace sign was in. 
Mommy picked up this human shaped small pillow and held it to her chest.  It felt like you!  Soft and fluffy and cheerful.  Mommy looked at its name: Squoosh.  Mommy was enchanted.  Lucky for her she was shopping with her friend Smiley who fell in love with Squoosh too. This made it not so odd when they stood there in the huge store full of things Mommy never really thought about, except when she needed them: lamp shades and weight scales and magnifying mirrors and towels and all kinds of door mats, and they swooned over the twin Squooshes they held under their chins.  Who had thought to make such a wonderful pillow? Mommy wondered, thinking of ways she could sleep with it tucked under her neck.  She quickly tossed a Squoosh into the cart for Daddee, who loves anything that is forward looking and leaning slightly to the left.
In fact, when Daddee adored his Squoosh, just as Mommy thought he would, she said we must buy lots of these for our friends.  Mommy knew that most people were feeling, as she was, gutted by the diabolical political news now covering the world like so much volcanic ash, oil sludge, and nuclear fall-out.  And few of them even had chickens to cuddle!  So Daddee and Mommy went together to the Chain Store, while Smiley stayed home happily with her Squoosh, and Daddee got an extra large cart that would hold many Squooshes.  Every time they thought they had enough, they remembered some other horrible sound bite of news and another downhearted Companero.
Oh, Daddee, said Mommy, at the check-out counter, where the check out person seemed amused to see their small mountain of Squooshes, now is the time for everyone on earth to have a Squoosh.  Underneath her euphoria Mommy was wondering what Squooshes are made of, and whether you were subtly poisoned as you squooshed, but for the moment she didn’t care.
At night in bed watching an excellent BBC production of a Thomas Hardy novel – Mommy loves Thomas Hardy and thought The Mayor of Castorbridge should have had a Squoosh! – she and Daddee cuddled their Squooshes that seemed to grow more plucky, comforting, and cuddly by the moment, and on a functional level – for instance, alleviating neck and chin stress – they worked well too.

It was fun giving them away: to a birthday boy here, a wedding couple there, a lawyer friend who looked too serious to own one, and so on.
But it all started because Mommy has received so much peace and comfort from sitting with and holding you!  Her original Squooshes who unfortunately might choose to lay eggs (or worse) in the bed or in the seat of a plane.

And guess what else Mommy  noticed?  The peace sign is almost an exact copy of your foot!  Your foot with a bit of your leg, and minus that back claw that you often scratch me with.  As the I Ching might say: The ordinary man does not think of this.

Squoosh photo: ©2010 by henri norris
Note: Squoosh seems to be Scandinavian derived and so the correct spelling is: SQUSH with double dots over the U, which I will place there when I find them!  
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