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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Morning Chicken Chat

I always feed the sheep, goats, donks, cats and horse before letting the chickens out to free range. This keeps them from eating their favorite morning power snack- cat food.But today I arrived at the hay barn to find one of the Three Janes....

"Jane, what are you doing in here? You should be in the parlour..." I asked as I tossed hay to Boone.

"Excuse me? Shouldn't I be asking you, "Why am I in the hay barn?" said Jane, rather irritated.

"Well, I assume you didn't go into the chicken parlour last nite with everyone else, " I replied.

"She's been here all nite," said Boone. "And what a princess! She couldn't find the proper roost and kept us all up most of the night."

"Jane, what happened? You should have gone back to the hen parlour when I brought everyone in yesterday."

"I'm just invisible, aren't I? I was in the orchard, I assumed you would do the usual waddle count and come get me... You always come get me."

"Princess..." Boone said under his breath.

"Well, Jane, I apologize, I have a lot of chores, and Sundays I like to do chores early so I can relax sooner than later."

"Relax? I never relax. I'm a scrambled egg maker 24/7. You count on me for breakfast, I count on you for evening waddle check so I don't get eaten."

"Jane, really, I'm so sorry. I overlooked it this one time, it won't happen again."

"One time? Not so fast, missy. We all know what happened to Lyndon...and Inkie.....Chicken Named Dog still likes to spook the younger girls with those stories, and she waits until a quarter moon so it's good and dark in the parlour. Freaks every body out."

"Oh my, well Inkie insisted on laying eggs elsewhere and after making many grand attempts I still couldn't find her. I felt horrible about it too." I said sadly, still trying to win her over.

Jane flew up on my shoulder, as I gathered more hay flakes and headed out to the feed the donkeys, and said, "You just weren't thinking like a chicken."

"Jane, I'm not a chicken, " I said.

"I'm pretty clear on that point!" chuckled Jane, still irritated.

"Look, it was an accident. You know I go to great extremes to keep you girls safe from the night stalkers. Let's not forget I spent over an hour trying to rescue Henny Penny from the roof during a snowstorm." I said rather defensively.

"Ah, yes....you always liked Henny Penny better than any of us!" complained Jane, as she flew down to the ground.

"So not true, Jane," I said as I fed the donkeys.

"Pino, tell her I treat you, Paco and Lucia with the same amount of love. and care."

But Paco chipped in, "Pino is a puppet, and a doll, he has his own Facebook page, and all I have his Paco's Pickles and my Hunting Season Survival Guide."

"I'm very happy with everything," said little Lucia.

And Pino finished a mouthful of hay and said, "I know you do your best. You are a human after all. The confluences of daily life some time muddle your thinking."

Jane flew up on wood pile to get to eye level with me and said, "I forget you're human sometimes. I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Jane. Sometimes I forget you're a chicken."

And another day at Apifera was under way.