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Back in July we got a couple of new hens.

Hobbit (left) was named for the feathered feet.  Chicken Little (right) was named for her catastrophic reactions to treats being dropped on her head.  By “treats” I mean spinach stems or strawberry caps – nothing at all that should cause a concussion or “end of the world” behavior.   Hobbit would *always* be the first to snatch up the treat. This would instantly send Chicken Little into “the sky is falling” mode, in which she would chase Hobbit around the cage in a panic, all the while peeping frantically. Hobbit wouldn’t even eat the snack at first, preferring instead to run around with it taunting Chicken Little.  If I dropped another treat in for Chicken Little, Hobbit would drop the first treat, snatch up the second treat and take off running with it.  Rather than taking Hobbit’s discarded treat, Chicken Little would act like it didn’t exist at all and continue her incessant peeping and chasing.

The silly little birds grew and grew and it quickly became evident that they were nothing like the dignified Myrtle, Pearl, and Gertrude, or even crazy Freebird. These two chicks were friendly and more than a little nuts. They’d practically jump in our pockets each time we opened the door to their cage.

At some point Chicken Little stopped growing, but Hobbit kept getting bigger and then began developing iridescent greenish black feathers like a peacock.  I was in denial for a long time even though the evidence was before my eyes.  The day after Christmas when we opened the back door to let Moon Pie out for her morning routine, our little Hobbit announced to the world his manhood with a “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!!”

Hobbit

Hobbit demanding a close-up and Chicken Little in the background

I have a new one-eyed Turtle friend named Sprout.  He has taken up residence in my garden.  We’ve been hanging out together.

Sprout being shy

Sprout being shy

IMG_4942 (2)

Sprout in a rather distinguished-looking pose

Nickel seems threatened by this new relationship.  Last week while I was cleaning out the veggie beds he persistently intercepted my reach, sticking his silly cat head between my hand and every weed I was trying to pull.  It was a sad and desperate attempt to force me to pet him, which of course worked.  And while I was taking pictures of Sprout, Nickel jumped up on a rock between us and he went all “Zoolander” on it, in a “look what I can do” sort of way.  It was a sad and desperate attempt to force me to take pictures of him…

Nickel Posing

“I’m too sexy for my shirt”

"I'm too sexy for your party - no way I'm disco dancing"

“I’m too sexy for your party – no way I’m disco dancing”

Like sands through the hourglass…these are the ducks of our lives.

–Lunar Euphoria

RIP Penguin May 16, 2013- May 20, 2013

RIP Penguin
May 16, 2013- May 20, 2013

Penguin, the beautiful little duckling, died yesterday under the rump of his mother and shells of his sisters and brothers.   In his short little life, he managed to miraculously escape the pen twice. While apparently easy to find a way out of the pen, finding the way back in proved problematic for Penguin. After each escape he stood outside the pen peeping like crazy, as if the rest of the ducks were free and he was the prisoner.  Both times he was rescued from the great beyond and delivered back to his mama’s nest, only to have his mother deliver him to the Great Beyond.

The day he died another baby hatched. It was a terrible sight to behold, really. Blind, contorted, and slimy, it looked like something you’d see hatching in a monster movie – like a baby dragon or something. The creature’s stick-neck was folded at an improbable angle and one tremulous leg kept working the shell open a little at a time. The bird’s dinosaur lineage was quite evident in his appearance.

Meanwhile, not to be undone by Kiki, P. Recious Rainbow has built a new nest right next to hers and plopped down numerous eggs of her own.  There the two sit quacking out the duck version of Dueling Banjos. Or maybe  it’s the duck version of a dance-off…which would be a lay off?

Who will win this game of nests?

Who will win this game of nests?

Mistletoes is standing on Kiki in that picture because she was running to me, her champion protector. As the youngest female, she is tormented relentlessly by the boys. Every time I catch them trying to gang rape her I chase after the boys clapping at them and yelling mean things about how I might become a carnivore again if they don’t leave her alone.  So now she has the habit of running TO me when they’re after her.

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