I just realized that I have become one of those women who non-ironically displays chicken figurines right in the middle of the kitchen for everyone to see. This chicken has come to me in the form of a cookie jar that used to live at my grandma’s house. It just may be my favorite kitchen accessory. Perhaps the greatest thing about a chicken figurine is that it’s an unmistakable signal to guests not to expect a perfectly clean house. It prepares them for a floor full of toys and dust. It screams, “Bless This Mess” without actually screaming “Bless This Mess.” I wrote several years ago pre-children and pre-Catholicism that I want to become one of those women with a house and a chicken figurine. And now I have. Progress, y’all!
Last week Oliver and I went to a San Antonio burger joint to treat ourselves to a burger lunch. As we were leaving I spotted a familiar shape in the crane machine and giddily told Ollie, “Oh, win me that stuffed chicken!” He looked at it and laughed, “how did I know you would like that one? It looks like it belongs in some old lady’s attic.” It did. And that was why I liked it. The crane machine held a patchwork calico stuffed chicken which seemed to be composed of cast-offs and flour sack scraps, not the type of thing you’d expect out of a machine that holds 25 cent dog toys and Betty Boop plushies.
Which brings me to real chickens. I have some in my back yard, and my back step has been baptized with chicken poop. We acquired the hens in the spring of 2012, so at this point some of them are becoming quite geriatric. Throughout their years of service some of them have become like pets to me. I don’t think you can name a chicken that you hope to one day strip of its tasty bird flesh, and so Meg and Blacky and Penny will most likely remain in my backyard coop laying very few eggs until they finally kick the bucket and the only chicken I have left is a cookie jar filled with lovely edibles. Besides the golden girls, we have two young hens who do the bulk of the egg laying. Unfortunately for these ladies, I cannot tell them apart and so the naming is difficult. I cannot guarantee their future safety. For now I enjoy their eggs and the daily amusement of chucking scraps out the back door inevitably onto the back of a young red hen.