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Wet hen not so mad

August 07, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

At least one hen didn't chicken out during her bath Wednesday.

Black Cherry, a silky black hen, was missing its silk and fluff as her owner, 13-year-old Rebekah Simmers, held the wet chicken upside-down by its claws.

The hen had just been shampooed and rinsed twice by Rebekah's father, Jeff Simmers, 49, of Waynesboro, Pa.

A wet Black Cherry was carried beak-down back to her pen, where she was to get her feathers blown-dry by a fan. Another chicken, who had just finished the bathing sequence in three water-filled black buckets, stayed behind. Jeff Simmers started on that chicken's manicure.

"They get the royal treatment today," he said and laughed.

At first glance, Cole Rigby looked like he was trying to release the docile animals penned beneath the Ag Expo's petting farm tent.

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The 1-year-old boy sprinted between pens before grabbing onto the links of some animals' pens. He giggled, shook the cages and then paused, giving the animals a silent stare. When the animals blinked back at him, Cole moved on.

Jennifer Rigby, 25, was trying to figure Cole out, guessing that he liked the pigs and goats the best, only because he touched them.

"Who knows," she said.

On top of selling "The Best Lemonade at the Fair" Cody Jones sells 4-H.

The 14-year old Hagerstown boy has worked behind the drink bar lines for "Early Sno Hawaiian Shave Ice" since he was 8 years old, the same time the vendor began serving up the confections at the Ag Expo.

As the vice-president of the Chewsville 4-H Club, Cody can't resist making time to meet with the club's president, Joel Reynolds, 12. The two boys talked Wednesday beneath the vendor's shaded tent. They both had entered animals at the fair.

Cody said, "I like coming out here. I like to explain what 4-H is."

Getting attached to animals one raises can be tough, said 14-year-old Emily Meyers as she rubbed the sides of her meat sheep, Britches.

Emily stood by Britches' side all day, watching to make sure the sheep stayed clean. She said the shirt the sheep was wearing mostly protects its body from dirt.

Britches gets shown today. Before long the sheep will be sold at the market, she said. Those days are the hardest.

"Everyone's crying for their animals and I cry along with them," she said.

After noticing a homemade woven suit on a woman back in 1981, Mickie Schneider decided to try to weave a few things herself.

It wasn't until fours years ago that the 64-year-old Orrtanna, Pa., woman came to the Ag Expo to check out what weaves took home grand prizes.

She said, "I said I can do that."

This year, for the first time, Schneider entered a couple of items - a tablecloth and a woven piece of fabric to be used for a blouse. Both of the items landed her first place prizes.

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