Our family has always had a bit of a thing about chickens. At least I think it has. Anyway, we’ve always had chickens, and at some point, when we were looking for a present (particularly for my mother,) we’d go with anything chicken-themed.
I love chickens. I think they’re brilliant for children to grow up around. You can learn a helluva lot from them. And not just where cute fluffy chicks are concerned. The cycle of life and death is played out in feathery, clucking, miniature-form.
When were in the cottage where we lived until my sister came along, we woke up one morning after a huge storm (at least, so the story goes. This was when I was knee-high to a cricket and I don’t even remember the house, truth be told,) to find a brood of chickens in the yard. Or possibly it was one hen and a clutch of chicks. No matter. They stayed with us, and the chicken family grew, declined, was added to, declined again, grew again, you get the gist. When we moved to accommodate the arrival of my sister (always putting us out, that one!) we released the cockerel into the wild, and he apparently took up residence with the pheasants on the estate. The guns had to be told to “avoid the white one” at the beginning of a day’s shooting. That was Snowby. There were also Pheasant-Face, Abigid (I named that one,) Shirley Blue, Shirley Brown, Blackie, Whitey, Beaky (there was a beast,) Jerry, Whopper-Bird, Whopper-Daughter, Emma (never name chicks after friends, in case they come to a bad end,) Whitey (again,) James Bond (female), the Ugly Sisters (both male,) Einstein, Osmosis (my biologist sister’s choice of name,) Blackie (again, again,) Flowers, the list goes on.
Birth (or at least, hatching,) adolescence and sibling rivalry, what happens when you introduce a cat to an over-excited adolescent without warning (both parties nearly *ahem* wet themselves with fright,) motherhood and parental responsibilities, disease, illness, care for the elderly, death, possible murder (I swear he was pushed!) Not all experiences are cutesy-farmhouse-in-the-country pleasant, particularly if they’ve been given names and personalities at an early stage. I could tell you some horror stories about how chickens behave towards each other… slow cannibalism and animal cruelty (by the chickens, not to them!) But Halloween is over, maybe I’ll save them for next year!
(Chickens after a sudden shower are middling to hilarious.)
Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be about the lives and habits of chickens, I just intended to set the scene for my choice of birthday present for my mother, which was a reversible bag, with handles long enough to carry comfortably over the shoulder, and a drawstring closure, in case she doesn’t want her glasses case stolen.
I used the chicken stamps that I made, oooh, about a year ago (design nicked from here,) to print onto some fabric leftover from curtain linings, one side all cockerels with one chicken, the other side all chickens with one cockerel.
The inside (or outside) was the same red spotty fabric that you’ve seen on the tortoise, my Airelle blouse, and that you haven’t seen on the Belcarra (because I still haven’t got round to getting that up here.) In fact that was the reason I didn’t have enough to make the full collar in red.
I did the handles double-sided as well, each with chickens or cockerels on one side, red spotty on the other. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have printed the handle fabric all the way down, because the white fabric is a tad see-through, and you can see the less evenly printed poultry through the outside of the bag. But only from up close.