Selfihsia the selfish hen was unhappy. And understandably so. After all, having a feathery moustache is not the same thing as having a new hairdo or a brand new dress from a well-know boutique. She couldn’t flaunt it.
It didn’t make her feel beautiful. It didn’t even make her feel like an ordinary hen with a few feathers missing. She felt feathery at the wrong places and this made her sad.
One day when she was crying and looking at her reflection in the puddle of water near the grape fruit tree, Kayseria strutted toward her.
“Selfhisha, I have clucked at the thought and have finally come up with a solution,” she said.
All the hens had been thinking about Selfishia’s moustache for a while now. There had been five meetings under the grape fruit tree to get Selfishia out of her predicament.
“Really!” Selfisha clucked loudly with hope. Hearing Selfishia’s loud cluck the others came trotting and gathered around her.
When the cluck cluck of excitement settled into a hush of expectation, Kayseria said:
“We can have the feather removed from Selfisha’s nose, but there is some risk involved. She could lose her life.”
“Lose my life? If I am dead what would I care whether I have a feather or a broom in my nose,” she said and started crying.
“Selfishia, stop being so melodramatic. And there is always a risk. In fact, being hen is in itself a risk. So listen. We can ask Miss Nosy the cat to help us.”
“What?” They all clucked so loudly that for the first time they were louder than the oh-so-loud Lilliputians.
Miss Nosy was the ginger brown and white cat who prowled in the land of Lilliputians. She was always lurking outside the hens’ cage trying to eavesdrop on their cluck cluck. She sat beside the cage during the most intimate, egg-laying moments of the hens. And she mewed past the cage every day, stuck her nose inside the cage and rolled her eyes swiftly to figure out which hen laid which egg, how it was laid and when. This was the kind of cat she was. Nosy down to her curled white tail. So obviously, none of the hens were fond of her.
“But why would she help us?” Napoleon who had been standing quietly on one leg till then, asked.
“Because she is nosy and nosy people like to help. This gives them a chance to poke their noses in other people’s affairs. It also gives them a chance to get a whiff of some of the well-kept secrets,” Kayseria said.
After a brief pause, Kayseria continued thus to outline her plan:
“We can promise Miss Nosy that we would tell her one of our secrets-for instance we can tell her who lays the biggest egg-and in return she can pull out the feather from Selfishia’s nose with her teeth. She has a bigger mouth and she also has teeth. However, because she has teeth and because Selfish’s head will almost be touching her mouth, there is a likelihood of a catastrophe. Selfishia’s head could end up in Miss Nosy’s mouth from where it can travel down to her stomach.”
“When my head is lying in Miss Nosy’s stomach, would it matter if it has a feather inside the nose or not?” Selfishia again started crying.
“Look Selfishia, we have to take this risk. We will all stand around you and Napoleon is sure to do all he can to protect you,” Kayseria said
After much deliberation, the hens decided to go by Kayseria’s plan. One afternoon, Miss Nosy was invited and was offered a secret in return for her help. Miss Nosy agreed happily. This is what she had always wanted: to be near the hens and learn their secrets.
The hens circled around Selfisha and asked Miss Nosy to do the work assigned to her. When Miss Nosy held the feather with her teeth, she almost faltered. Selfishia’s small head looked so appetizing. But Napoleon who was standing near the cat and looking at her ferociously, sensed her temptation and crowed loud and strong: Koo kara koooooon. Napoleon’s angry crowing managed to dispel Miss Nosy’s moment of temptation, and she pulled the feather from Selfisha’s nose.
The hens were jubilant, and there ensued loud clucking and crowing to mark the event.
Selfishia immediately went to look at herself in the puddle. There was no feather. Gleefully bobbing her head, she started singing and dancing.
And after a while, she began eyeing each hen, trying to gauge which ones were about to lay eggs. She was planning to eat all of them.