“I love having too many eggs and so you have to give them to friends,” she said. “I love the feathers they drop as gifts. I love the compost they make. I love the way they will step so gently on your lap for a bit of loving. I love their eyes and soft combs and very pointy beaks. I love how warm their feet are and how their toes curl around your fingers when you are holding them. I love their pointy bird butts when they are pecking and scratching.”
I heard an interview on the radio a while back with Sy Montgomery, the author of a book called Birdology. He said that the average chicken can recognize about 100 other chicken faces. Each chicken has a couple of friends that they like. I think 100 chicken faces would be another fun drawing to make.
While drawing my friend, above, I realized that she is like a Mary Cassatt aquatint come to life. Her hair, plus the patterns in her clothing. And maybe the meditative mood. This was my first try at drawing chickens. They have kind of a wonderful shape. You almost can’t get it wrong.
I took the liberty of making it spring in my drawing, even though it’s not, not at all.
The next day: I want to add a complementary thought about chickens, from our friend John:
Pablo Neruda writes:
I am weary of chickens:
no one knows what they are thinking,
and they look at us with dry eyes
and consider us unimportant…
[The musician] Greg Brown responds:
It’s true. They do, and we are…
but it’s hard to take that from
a damn chicken.