Do Something Cute!

Do Something Cute

This is not something you can tell a chicken. “Do something cute, as cute as a button!” They simply do not have an interest in doing anything other than what they want to do.

If it happens to be cute, then that’s wonderful. If not, then that’s too bad…for you. This is particularly true when you need something to write about.

“Do something cute. I need an idea for a new story!” I said yesterday evening.

They just looked at me quizzically and went back to their much more important chicken activity which was eating their last sunflower kernels before going up into their coop for the night. It is very difficult to convince a chicken of anything when they are eating.

“Cute is for buttons,” is what they would have said if they knew what a button was.

Shoelaces they know. “Shoelaces look like earthworms.” That is what would be written in a book titled “Everything A Chicken Needs To Know” if there ever was such a book.

Here is the point of all this: chickens keep hoping. Just because a shoelace doesn’t change into something to eat today doesn’t mean it won’t be something to eat tomorrow, or in a day or two, or in a week or two.

So they test my shoelaces from time to time. Particularly if I’ve tied them in a different way. A loose floppy loop always offers hope they have somehow turned into earthworms!

But I’m not so sure people are the same as chickens in this regard. It is much too easy to label and package people, and then once labeled and packaged, we consider them unchangeable.

We are often not as good as chickens when it comes to giving people a second chance. Sadly there are also times when we won’t give ourselves a second chance.

Yet over and over my chickens will test my shoelaces to see if maybe it’s the day when they finally turn into earthworms. It never has happened…yet. From their perspective it could happen any day.

People can change for the better, and for the person you may have labeled and packaged, it could be today. To be honest, it is more likely to happen before my shoelaces turn into earthworms!

Believe it or not…brace yourself…while you’re waiting for that neighbor of yours to change, somewhere close by there might be a different neighbor waiting for you to change.

So just like a chicken, don’t give up on your neighbor or yourself. Gracie is always the first to examine my shoelaces and to give them a test peck. Then the others have to give their test pecks too. It’s as if the others are thinking, “Just because they didn’t turn into earthworms when Gracie pecked them doesn’t mean they won’t turn into earthworms when I peck them.”

We might think, “Silly chickens!” But I have to admire their hopefulness. Gracie and the others never give up hope and continue to believe in the goodness which is inherent in all of creation.

My Life With Gracie made me wonder if maybe shoelaces really could turn into earthworms.

Just so you know, particularly if you are a regular reader, last Saturday’s post went out, was pulled back, went out again, and finally was pulled out again! I wasn’t completely pleased with the story part and then I wasn’t pleased with the illustration. If I’m able to get them right, then I will repost. To be honest, I’d rather share quality than quantity, so you may not see quite as many posts right now. In other words, I want to make sure the time you invest here is worthwhile.
Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

One of the things my chickens and I share in common is we all like “corny” things. With them, it’s “corny” corn, the real thing. With me, it’s “corny” jokes. Is there a better time to celebrate “corny” things than Valentine’s Day? I think not! Remember those Valentine’s Day cards children give to each other?!?

You’re “EGGsactly” right for me! Be My Valentine!

You’re a “GOOD EGG”! Won’t you be My Valentine?

It’s no “YOKE,” Valentine—I’ll “EGG” you on ‘til you say you’re mine!

With six of the sweetest hens ever in my backyard, how can I choose just one to be “My Valentine”? They are all so different, even those who are the same breed. Each brings my heart a special unique joy.

But I must admit Gracie has had a special place in my heart from the very beginning. Why is that? Perhaps it is her gentle and peaceful nature. Perhaps it is how she doesn’t mind when others take center stage. (You will notice how she is seldom the main character in these stories.)

Perhaps more than anything it’s because she wants to dance with me, and we both believe one day she will. Even though chickens can’t really dance ballet and even though old men with creaky knees make terrible dancers, we will dance together. We both believe in and look forward to that day…and also to you dancing with us, as “corny” as it may seem!

My Life With Gracie makes my heart “LEAP” and always keeps me “ON MY TOES”!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Pearl’s Life Coaching Flowchart #1

Pearl's Life Coaching Flowchart #1

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, Pearl thought it might be good to offer a little help with answering one of life’s most challenging questions: “How can I tell if someone loves me so I can love them back?” So she has started calling herself a “Life Coach.”

To be honest, Pearl has become a little bored while waiting for another chance to do her newest standup comedy routine. She had even briefly considered working towards a college degree in her spare time.

Her first day at college was also her only day at college. It was one big disaster of a day.

She accidentally pecked holes all over her college entrance exam answer sheet which made it jam the scoring machine. The test proctors got really mad, and so she nervously nibbled her number two pencil to just sort of break the tension. No one laughed. No one gave her anything to eat at the end. No one gave her a comforting word or gesture. You’ll see why all of this is important later.

Pearl has vowed to return one day as a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker at the college. Pearl never gives up.

In my opinion, though she won’t admit it, this is mostly about having an opportunity to wear her new Valentine’s Day hat. (This might be to make up for not being able to wear a college graduation hat. You know, it’s the kind with the tassel. She does love hats…and tassels.)

Please keep in mind this is all from Pearl’s unique chicken perspective. Whether or not this carries over to a human perspective is something you can decide for yourself.

“Do they refuse to laugh at your best jokes?”

Since Pearl is a standup comedian, this is the first and perhaps the most important question of all. You should delight in each other’s company and at least share a laugh or two.

If they refuse to even give you a “pity laugh,” you probably want to watch out! They are likely to peck you on the head when you least expect it and then knock you off of the perch!

To be extra sure, tell your very worst joke. You’ll know which one that is because it’s the one that makes the other chickens roll their eyes and walk away. If they still laugh even at your worst joke, there is a strong chance they love you and want to be your friend!

Pearl’s Bottom Line: One of these days, you’ll be too old to do much of anything except share stories and laughs. Plan ahead for those sunny “retired-from-egg-laying” days!

“Do they bring you food?”

If they bring you food and have made sure it’s something you like ahead of time, this is almost a sure sign you can love them back!

You still need to be careful because they might look at you as food. This is not good. If they are licking their chops and drooling when they give you food, this is definitely not good. Run for your life!

Nevertheless. Don’t forget they may not have any food to give you. This is not so good, but it is understandable.

Even if they don’t give you any food, give them one more chance, particularly if they are a chicken since chickens do not have cupboards or refrigerators for keeping food.

Pearl’s Bottom Line: Bringing someone earthworms is undoubtedly the best way to show someone you love them. If you have no earthworms to bring them, let them have their first choice when you are looking for earthworms together.

“Do they let you rest your head on them?”

This is Pearl’s ultimate decisive question, and I tend to agree with her. This is how young chickens let each other know they feel safe with each other and support each other. For people it might be different, but the idea is still the same.

When you can just be yourself without having to pretend you are someone you are not…well, that is a gift. When just being with someone makes you forget all of your worries and woes…well, that is a gift too.

Pearl’s Bottom Line: Life can be tough for chickens, and even more so for people. If you find rest in someone else, love them back! Let them find rest in you!

I have a feeling “Let them find rest in you!” will probably lead into Pearl’s next flowchart which just might use a question something like, “How can I love someone without worrying whether they love me back or not?” It’s one of Pearl’s greatest life coaching skills and something she does very well: loving everyone until they have no other choice except loving her back. Like I said, Pearl never gives up!

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!