HETTY AND HARRIET by Graham Oakley


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The odyssey of two barnyard hens into a cold cruel world. The travelers are discontented Harriet, who is next-to-last in the pecking order, and placid Hetty, who is at the bottom but doesn't much mind. However, when Harriet sees a storm as their chance to move to the ""perfect place over there,"" Hetty agrees--and she continues to follow Harriet as each new home proves less than perfect and Hetty is chided for selecting it. For a while, new places seem little more than excuses for Oakley's busy crowd scenes; but just as you're beginning to tire of the aimlessness of it all, Hetty and Harriet land in a truly ominous environment, the Techno-Egg Production Plant. Soon Harriet decides that this bright clean home is not to her liking either--but her optimism is not renewed by the next move: both hens are hauled off in a ""Fowl Fare Chicken Pies and Soup"" van for failing to lay eggs. Oakley pictures the van's destination as a dark, smoke-belching industrial blight. ""After one look at that dreadful place [Harriet] knew that if they entered it they would never come out."" But Harriet thinks fast and Hettie follows, effecting an escape that is totally in character and thoroughly satisfying. And their return to ""the perfect place, just over there,"" which turns out to be their own original farm, becomes a perfect full circle of there-and-back adventure.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum