John Sandford on chickens

Arnold Shoemaker the farmer, was either blessed with, or cursed by, exotic fowl. He wasn’t quite certain which. 

He didn’t buy them, he accumulated them: Somebody would come by, hearing that Arnold would take them, and they’d drop them off – unwanted family pets, stray birds, leftovers from farms that were going down. Cuckoo Marans, Golden Penciled Hamburgs, Leghorns, Buttercups, Red Caps, Blue-Peckered Logans, assorted bantams and guinea hens, he had them all. 

He ate the few eggs they produced, when he found them fressh, but never ate the chickens. They ran in and out of the old barn in the winter, and he’d feed them table scraps and ground corn, and leave them on their own to peck up gravel out by the road and bugs by the barn. 

The fact was, they made him happy to look at. It was nothing short of remarkable, he thought, how so few people realised how good-looking a chicken could be. Better-looking than parrots, by a long way. No contest.  (John Sandford, Storm Prey (2010))

 

(All this is just an in-passing description, which goes on, of someone whose only task, in the book, is to find a body. As good as George V. Higgins.)

public chicken train Warsaw-Ostrava Katowice 815.JPG(Katowice, Poland, 2015)

Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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