Do you remember me talking about our chickens? I know, it’s been a while since I mentioned them. It’s just, chickens don’t really do anything but eat, sleep, and poop. They are kind of like infants with feathers and really long toenails. Just to refresh your memory, we have two chickens. One is named Daffodil and one is named Mickey.
Mickey was named after our cat Mik-Mok. This is what happens when you let your daughter name chickens. She names them after the cat you think might be a vampire. The cat that tried to kill you during the Obama Inauguration. The cat that lives in your husband’s garage with all of the tools and other sharp/dangerous/menace to society objects you have collected over your lifetime. The naming of pets should be an activity reserved only for adults. Kids pick the weirdest names, unless, of course, you only want to yell one name at dinner time.Then, toddlers naming pets makes perfect sense.
This wasn’t really going to be about the cat. I was going to write about our crazy chickens. These chickens are getting big and when they flutter around and get on each others nerves they even chest bump each other. Every single time they do that I can just hear my husband’s voice saying, “Delicious.” Just like he did when we went to the Aquarium and he would stop and give recipes for the best way to eat each fish on display. I can’t help but wonder if the reason those fish are in the aquarium is because my husband ate so many of their brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles in his youth. My husband may be the number one reason our oceans are becoming depleted of edible fish. He may be the reason that what was once a common enough fish, is now enjoying a tank at the aquarium in the name of conservation.
According to the chicken experts our chickens are supposed to start laying eggs soon. I hope so. These chickens need to earn their keep. So far they have eaten my cucumber plant, pooped on my shoe (so glad I wasn’t wearing Birkenstocks that lovely morning), eaten my ripe tomatoes, and created some very foul bedding that my husband declared a toxic waste emergency. In short, they have been a lot of work and, although I think they are cute enough to paint, I don’t plan on eating them anytime soon.
How could I? what would Tiny-Small say when I told her Mickey was cooking in the pot for dinner? I brought home a book from the library all about chickens to read to Tiny-Small. About halfway through the book it went to the dark side. First, it showed beautiful roosters and hens with little chicks. Many colorful varieties of chickens were written about and photographed living on the farm, but turn the page and POW! there was a little boy eating fried chicken with a side of lemon. There were pages of factory-farmed chickens piled together in cages. The caged chickens were all sticking their heads out between the bars hoping to make an escape. This is the stuff chicken nightmares are made of. It’s also enough to make me wish we were vegetarian.
Anyway, I can’t stop painting chickens. I am also working on a portrait of a glamorous blogger (I know, I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s the truth!) and some guinea pigs. Did you know they eat guinea pigs in Peru? It’s pretty scary to be a guinea pig these days. It’s also scary to be a chicken. It’s also scary to be an artist with a vampire cat. All of this without even leaving home. See how I turn an ordinary life into one filled with anxiety and dread? That’s a special talent that I have. Stick around long enough and I’ll teach this talent to you too!