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

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Conversing with Chickens #6

All week I'll be doing short, spur of the moment interviews with the chickens of Apifera. Like I said in the first interview, these chickens are busy, and have little desire for the spotlight, so expect brief, to the point answers. All answers are unrehearsed.

Note: At the time of this posting, I found one of the Three Janes in the coop, very
sick. I worked with her to revive her with water, and I hope she makes it through the day. If she does, it was most likely a passing illness. But once a chicken goes down, I've never seen them really revive. So Jane was on my mind as I interviewed Vivienne, one of our most independent, and very no-nonsense, hens. Vivienne is part Aracuana and has beautiful deep rust-red feathers.

KD: Vivienne, I think Jane is dying.

V: I need to get going....

KD: Vivienne, wait, do you mourn for flock members, when they are ill, do you comfort each other?

V: Our presence in a routine comforts us. The sensations of air, dirt and water are norms. When they are gone, we cease to exist, so there is no need for seeking or giving comfort. We live each moment. Or we die in one moment. There's no need to think of it either way.

KD: I knew you'd give me a direct response.

V: I have to go now.

Still, I am not a chicken. Just a woman with chickens, who sees their individual personalities and colors and revels in the way each one runs slightly differently, or waddles fast or slow. I told Jane as I held her, her eyes not opening, "You can't die, the Three Janes won't be the Three Janes." Even though I revived her somewhat, I'm prepared. An old farmer told me long ago when I first start raising chickens, "Chickens just die."


Emma said...

Oh. :( How is Jane now?

Cathy said...

I hope Jane makes it. Thank you for reminding me that farming is not the romantic fantasy I'd like to think it is.

Wintergreen said...

Your beauties must be the luckiest chickens in the world to have someone to care for them both body and soul.

Anonymous said...

Live, Jane!

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~