Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Photographic Memory: Chickens

Penny and Peggy, Rhode Island Red Chickens
Penny and Peggy

Somehow these two old gals still manage to bring a smile to my face. They were a surprise gift from my husband, who showed up at the front door one afternoon with them in hand. I definitely hadn't had any thoughts about owning chickens, but they are now one of the favorite gifts he has given me.

When they were small, I kept them indoors. I'd cover them up at night with an old towel and listen as they made peeping noises and drifted off to sleep. Sometimes my daughter and I would go outdoors and hunt through the long grass in our yard for little green grasshoppers to feed them. As they got larger, they'd follow us around, expecting their special snack. They were very curious birds and a little bit nosy.

Penny and Peggy, Rhode Island Reds

I remember one day I opened the back door and peered out only to find Penny standing atop our barbeque grill. What a funny sight that was!

Penny, Rhode Island Red

I enjoyed those two silly birds so much. I tried owning other chickens without much success. Other chickens would fly over the fence and dig in my flowerbeds. Penny and Peggy never did. Other chickens couldn't be easily caught, whereas Penny and Peggy came when you called them.

There was William, a Cornish Game Rooster. I liked him a lot. He was so fat, weighing over 25 lbs., that he couldn't fly or even climb steps. At night, since he couldn't roost properly, he would set up underneath Penny and Peggy. He was mean enough, but his top speed was more of a waddle and so he was easy to outrun.

Williams, Cornish Game Rooster

In the end, Penny and Peggy lived to be five years old. That's a long time for a chicken. It was a sad day when Penny died. Peggy only lived a few more months. I think she was lost without her sister. I vowed never to replace them. There'd never be two chickens quite the same as those.

This is how my ceramic chicken collection began. I have them all on display in my kitchen, on top of the cabinets or on the walls, as a reminder of those two special birds.

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography....and chickens.

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