June 1st, 2007

Walkabout

Writerly Thoughts on Walkabout

All the girls came out today. There was another ruckus at 8 am, presumably the woodchuck again. The dirt I had tamped down was disturbed, the bricks on the feeding trays askew. The woodchuck has something personal against bricks, apparently.

I counted three times as I put the feed down. Yes, ten. Ten girls eating outside. Walkabout spent all of yesterday inside the coop, but this morning she was back outside. I still won't open the temporary run today, but I'll keep the house door open until it's too hot and I'll listen for crows and make regular trips down to check on them and make them a puddle to splash in. I hate penning them, but to do otherwise is folly and, I think, irresponsible. Gods are often irresponsible, though. At least within the limits of our understanding.

Walkabout makes a great heroine, I thought this morning. Because in the end, she took care of herself. She got away from the fox. It wasn't deus ex machina, it wasn't some knight in shining armor. It was her determination, her spirit, that saved her. And then the sense to show herself to us, tired as she was. So that we could take her home when she was at the point of total exhaustion, worn out from the adrenaline rush. I've always wondered how to create a heroine to cheer for and here she is, right under my nose.

I always knew this was leading to a story, I just never realized who it was about. I thought (silly me) it would be about the humans taking care of the chickens, turning into chickens. But clearly Walkabout is meant for the star role. It's just a question of what story, how it will show itself in the end when I have enough distance from the events to shape it as fiction and genre fiction at that. Which means I have to push it further as it unfolds.

Frog Out

Updated at 10 am:
I forgot to mention that we held a ceremony for Anya yesterday evening and buried her in the bottom of our 'pond' which is currently dry, but diggable. The Dude dug deep and E said a few words.
Hen

Oddities

The girls complain. Walkabout went back into the coop so I plugged in the fan. It's going to be warm in there today. She has water and food in there. I bought raspberries, which never seem to be quite as good as they look through the plastic. But that's ok because the girls like them. Especially Walkabout.

I took them raspberries and made another puddle. And I noticed two sets of spoor behind the barn that are not cat, not dog, not deer and definitely not human. The ground's too dry for paw prints, but someone is very bold and has decided to warn others away from their buffet.

Sorry. This is NOT your private buffet. I'm going to cover the droppings with pine needles to make my own point. I'm not sure the Dude would agree to cover them with something else, but maybe I'll ask.

Frog Out