Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rooster seeks love, no qualifications needed

Ward Schumacher the rooster, not to be confused with Ward Schumacher the artist, is busy looking for valentines. The Spring like air in the past two days has sent him calling on a variety of the barn yard ladies. I admire Ward, he is not afraid to be spurned by any of them. For any of us who have suffered through past Valentine Day rejections, this is inspiring. And anyone who dares to win the heart of Franklinia, aka Frankie, really has hutzpah.

The first legend of Valentine's Day, and perhaps the best known, began in Rome, when Emperor Claudius II was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. “Claudius the Cruel” as he was called, was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military due to the belief that Roman men did not want to leave their loved ones. So he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine, a priest in Rome at the time, defied Claudius and continued to perform secret marriages for young lovers. When Valentine's actions were discovered, he was sentenced to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. But while in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl said to be his jailer's daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death on February 14, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed, " From your Valentine". In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.