Table of contents for A couple of April Fools / by Gregory Maguire ; illustrated by Elaine Clayton.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog. Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication information provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.


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Happy Spring!
1. The Wheel of Life
2. Trouble in Paradise?
3. Dreamboat or Dumptruck?
4. Grownups in Their Natural Habitat
5. The Mustard Motto
6. Scheming and Not Scheming
7. April Fool's: Single Whammy
8. April Fool's: Double Whammy
9. The Dirty Double-Cross
10. Sabotage to Boot
11. Foul Play
12. The Adolescence of a Flameburper
13. Where Were You That Day?
14. Beatrice Breaks Out
15. Mrs. Mustard Breaks Out
16. Thud Tweed, Juvenile Offender
17. Beware What You Choose
18. Nobody's Business
19. Missing, Presumed Dead
20. The Eureka Moment
21. Triple Whammy?
22. April Showers Bring May Flowers </toc
Happy Spring!
"You don't look yourself this morning," said the farmwife to 
the mutant chicken. "That sprig of green feathers growing out of 
your scalp is a bit limp. Are you feeling all right, you mangy thing?"
The Vermont farmwife rattled spirals of seedcorn into the 
yard. The improbable creature, looking hungry and dissatisfied, 
followed her around. To the east, over New Hampshire, a lilac dawn 
rinsed the sky. A rooster crowed across the valley. Somewhere a 
cow mooed in mild anxiety, waking its brethren, who lowed along.
The farmwife's boots made sucking noises in the barnyard 
mud. "Don't eat so fast, you spring fool; you'll choke."
She continued, mostly talking to herself. "But who's a spring 
fool, then? I'm old enough to be Moses's grandmother, and an 
ordinary morning can still seem pretty enough to send shivers up 
my spine. It's the end of March, which, true to form even in 
contrary Vermont, has come in like a lion and shows signs of going 
out like a lamb. Mighty pretty."
The mutant chicken paid her no attention. It was gobbling seed 
so fast that it swallowed a pebble by mistake. The farmwife had to 
grab the creature and perform a modified Heimlich maneuver on it 
to clear its windpipe.
"I never gave emergency resuscitation to a chicken before," 
she admitted to herself. To the chicken, she added, "You may look 
like a chorus girl in a vaudeville number for an audience of turkeys, 
you silly thing, but you got a right to breathe, ain't you?"
She sniffed the air with sudden feeling. What's not to like on a 
spring morning in late March, when the wind freshens the barnyard, 
the limbs of bushes are notched with bud, and the black flies 
haven't come out yet? The farmwife took a moment to watch the 
mutant chicken go back to its breakfast. She took pity on the poor 
thing. It hadn't asked to be a mutant. It couldn't help that its genes 
had been spliced together, partly gallus domesticus, partly bluetoe 
lizard. No more than she could help being closer to 100 than 75. 
"You're never too old to be a spring fool," she told herself. She 
wiped a little tear from one corner of her eye and promptly stepped 
in a huge mucky cow pie, and laughed at herself.
She turned to scrape her boot on a bit of fence rail. A 
movement in the thick of the forsythia fronds caught her eye. 
"Coydog?" she said, frowning. "Fisher cat? Not this time of day. Not 
this close to a human being."
"Old Man!" she called her husband. "Bring the gun!"
She knew her husband was too deaf to hear her, but she hoped 
the stern sound of her voice would startle the creature in the 
bushes. It did. With a racket of thrashing bracken, a blurry 
commotion of claw and scale, the lurking visitor departed. 
The farmwife walked over to investigate. Besides batons of 
broken forsythia, all that was left were a few bristles of hair and 
some cartilage from a chewed leg. As if a chipmunk had ended its 
life as someone's breakfast.
"You poor spring fool," she said aloud, though who could tell if 
she meant the dearly departed chipmunk, or its predator, or herself, 
having to witness the redness of tooth and claw that Nature can't 
help showing off once in a while.	
 
 

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: April Fools' Day Fiction, Missing persons Fiction, Schools Fiction, Humorous stories