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  • Writer's pictureLoveday Funck

Vincent and the Lost Chicken

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

The other project I promised myself I would finish this summer was an adventure with Vincent Van Gogh. (I realize that September is a little late, summer-wise, but better late than not at all!)

After brainstorming, I thought it would be fun to create a time-traveling heroine who could go on adventures and meet famous figures and artists from the past.

A Merritt Tok Adventure

Merritt Tok sat down at the kitchen table by her Aunt Liz as her mother, Eden Tok, served up steaming plates of pancakes. Eagerly, Merritt reached for the syrup as her mother cleared her throat.

"You need to stop poking your nose into everything, Merritt, before you end up getting hurt."

Merritt flashed her mother an appeasing smile. "I possess a curious mind, Mom. I just want to know everything."

Eden sighed deeply.

Aunt Liz laughed. "Isn't she just like us when we were her age, Eden?"

Eden shot her sister a silencing look. "Merritt, you are going to stay home and think about what you should have done yesterday instead of going through everything in your grandmother's attic."

"But Van Gogh is my favorite, Mom," Merritt objected. "I picked everything up."

"By putting everything in the wrong place," Eden reminded her.

Aunt Liz shot her a sympathetic look. "We'll bring you home a Starry Night t-shirt."

Merritt finished her pancakes in silence, reflecting that they didn't taste as good when she was sad.

Ten minutes after her mom and aunt left, Merritt Tok found herself standing in her Aunt Liz's laboratory. She knew that her aunt had art books in here somewhere. If she couldn't go to the art gallery, she would still look at some artwork by Vincent Van Gogh.

As she poked around, she promised herself that would be super careful and not touch anything until she noticed a new keyboard in the back corner with lots of pretty, flashing lights. What did the keyboard do?

Unable to resist, Merritt pushed a few of the pulsating keys.

A strange portal suddenly lit up on a nearby wall. Through the portal, Merritt could see lush green countryside and a brick cottage. Why did the cottage look so familiar?

Warily, Merritt reached a hand through the portal! Could she maybe walk through it to the countryside? As she hesitated by the portal, Merritt noticed a redheaded boy running across the yard of the cottage. Was that Vincent Van Gogh?

After taking a deep breath, Merritt walked through the portal. She promised herself that she wouldn't be gone for long.

The red headed boy stopped abruptly in his tracks when Merritt emerged suddenly into his line of vision. He stared at her in surprise for a few moments.

"I'm Merritt," she greeted him.

"I'm Vincent," he responded. "Have you seen a chicken?"

"A chicken?" Merritt repeated in bewilderment.

"It's my mother's favorite," Vincent explained. "My family went to the Village Fair, but Mom made me stay home to look for her chicken."

"That seems unfair," Merritt said sympathetically.

Vincent sighed. "I didn't close the coop door last night so it's probably my fault that Hilary Fluff escaped. I'm going to find her for my mom."

"I will help you find the chicken," Merritt told him. How long could it take?

The two set off, traveling through a large field of sunflowers. Hilary was nowhere to be seen.

Vincent and Merritt crossed through an old-growth forest. Again, they saw no sign of Hilary.

As they neared town, Merritt and Vincent crawled through a fence to reach the road. Vincent worked to free his hair which had caught on the old wood.

"Be careful," Merritt advised him as she helped him free himself. "You don't want to lose an ear."

Vincent laughed and dashed ahead into the village. The two stopped at a street cafe and asked the busy waiter if he'd seen Hilary. The waiter shook his head.

Vincent and Merritt circled the local cathedral, searching for Hilary in the shrubbery. Again, they found no trace of the chicken.

Noting that the afternoon was slipping away, the two headed back to the cottage. They crossed through a field of irises. Vincent seemed sad over their fruitless search.

As they neared the chicken coop behind the cottage, Vincent let out an excited cry, pointing toward the chicken near the door of the coop. "Hilary is back!"

Merritt said goodbye to the happy Vincent under the darkening sky. She located the shimmer of where the portal should be and dove through back into her aunt's laboratory. Even as she approached the keyboard, she heard her aunt at the door.

"Don't touch that," Aunt Liz called out urgently.

Merritt backed away from the keyboard, opening her mouth to explain.

Aunt Liz cut her off. "I appreciate your curiosity, Merritt, but that keyboard is going to be a big no for you."

Merritt nodded and slunk slowly toward the doorway. "I'm going to see if Mom needs help with dinner."

"Good idea," Liz said as she started tapping on the keyboard so that the portal went abruptly dark. "I'll tell you all about Vincent over dinner."

"Looking forward to it," Merritt replied with a wide smile as she slipped quickly out the door of the laboratory.

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