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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.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
I can kinda relate to your situation with the girls. We used to have ducks and chickens that we kept in an enclosed stableyard, but they'd always try to sneak out. And we had semi-tame foxes that were fed nightly in the back yard. We lost a chicken when somebody forgot to clip its wings, and two ducks when they got through a little gap in the fence. All we ever found were a few feathers.

I'm well acquainted with the facts of nature red in tooth and claw and all that, but it's a terrible feeling when you're responsible for somebody and this happens to them.

But in your case: go, Walkabout!!

I hope your foxes find somewhere else to hang out soon.
Jun. 3rd, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
More than 'kinda' it sounds like. It's exactly what I'm talking about. I'm more than happy to put some sort of 'fox kibble' out for them on the edge of the 5 acre field on the other side of the property. Do they sell fox kibble? Purina? Dog chow? Cat chow for more protein? What did you feed them?

Poor silly ducks.
Jun. 3rd, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Ours were never fussy. They got table scraps of all kinds, toast, eggs (raw is OK, although once a raven picked one up and took it off in its beak, which was a sight). Steve used to give them sausage rolls, which are a cheap pastry with sausage filling--British thing. They'd love dog or cat food, I'm sure. I doubt it will stop them preying on the girls, though, unfortunately!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )