Chicken Art Link

I’m working on a novel. Which means I’m procrastinating by surfing the web. Of course, I am googling chickens.

I came across this page of famous paintings that have chickens in them. I particularly like the ones by Klimt and Magritte.


And The Winner Is….

Lory in Texas! The book will be given to her son’s elementary school library. 

Thanks to everyone who entered. I loved hearing from you. I wish that I could personally donate a book to each and every school and library out there. I also wish that I could read Tillie Lays an Egg to every child that you know. Not possible, of course. But, if you live in New England, I just might be coming to a school or bookstore near you. Keep an eye on my Appearances web page. I’ve just added an event at  the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, NH, and I’m getting the final details on a signing in Westport, MA, which will be listed soon.

Meanwhile, the girls and I are enjoying this mid-winter thaw. Well, to be honest, it’s not exactly a thaw today. It’s still below freezing at 27 degrees. But it’s sunny! And, importantly for the chickens, not windy. They’re out and about and dreaming of warm dirt to dust bathe in. Right now, they’re making do with the shavings in the barn, which just isn’t the same at all. It’s like the difference between a locker room shower with a trickle of water and a bar of thin soap, and a luxurious bubble bath. 

My big dog, Lily, is so optimistic about the weather that she is insisting on curling up on her dog bed out on the porch. It’s cold out there, and she has a thin coat. But the bed is in the sun. You can see why she likes it so much. There’s a great view of the meadow across the way, and she can keep an eye on people walking, and trucks (especially those FedEx monsters,) while at the same time being near me – the porch is off of my office. lily-on-porch

Warming Trend

The water on the outdoor HenCam  lens isn’t rain – we’re having a mid-winter thaw, and what you see is melting, dripping water. Thank goodness.

Then again, since the ground is still frozen solid, and on top of that is about 4 inches of packed snow/ice, and then about 9 inches of snow over that, well, when the top layer melts, there’s nowhere for the water to go. It’s supposed to be above freezing all week, but only during the day. At night, all that newly melted water will turn back into smooth ice. Walking is treacherous.

Maybe by the end of the week there will be mud? Sigh.

Chicken Teeth

On Tuesday I read Tillie Lays an Egg to about 80 kindergartners and first graders. Eggers, “the actress who plays Tillie” greeted the children with chirrups and clucks. She has quite the regal bearing. The kids were impressed. Part of my presentation entails talking about chickens, egg laying, what chickens eat, etc. There are a lot of pigeons in Cambridge, Mass., where the kids live, but not a lot of chickens! It’s interesting to me that I had to make the connection for them that both pigeons and chickens are birds. I asked who had seen the movie Chicken Run. Many raised their hands. I said, “In the movie, the chickens have teeth. Look at Tillie. She has a beak like all other birds. No teeth!” The children were incredulous.They watched her peck corn from my hand and observed how birds eat and how different it is than animals with lips and teeth. 

What else do kids think about animals comes from animated shows? How little do they really know about the animals around them, especially the farm animals? Awhile back, there was a movie in which the Holstein cow, complete with an udder, was voiced by a male actor. Really! Ultimately this lack of understanding will impact the big picture, like farm policy. My solution? More chickens in the classroom.