After a long hiatus, The Chicken Chronicles resumes! But first, a recap:
Marlena was in a coma while two different men claimed to be her long-lost husband…no wait, that was Days Of Our Lives! Only slightly less drama with our Gals in the backyard…
First there were Clucky, Gigi, and Babraham. Babraham was revealed to be a rooster (while Clucky was revealed to be the Death Star and Gigi just one heck of a cool chicken). Sadly, Jasmine’s beloved Babraham Lincoln was forced to relocate–to a sweet setup on Vashon Island, it should be noted–and we were down to two chickens. And two grandsons.
Over the next fall and winter, there was much talk about a replacement chicken for Jasmine and perhaps even a chicken for Tristan (nine years old and an animal lover through and through). Everything we read advised against introducing a single new chick to a flock (even just a two-chicken flock like ours), strongly suggesting bringing in two or more at a time instead.
So in Spring 2010, Rick brought home two more chicks—a Delaware for Tristan and another Auracana for Jasmine.
Tristan, a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan, named his chick Amy, after the “pink girl hedgehog who believes herself to be Sonic’s girlfriend” (thank you, Wikipedia*). Jasmine christened her adorable little chick Yo-Yo.
Amy and Yo-Yo lived in the house–just as Clucky, Gigi, and Babraham had during their chickhood. Clucky and Gigi still had full run of the back yard and for the most part remained blissfully unaware of the new additions. Could Clucky sense a distrubance in the force? It was hard to tell. But soon enough it would be time for the new chicks to join the flock.
Talk about drama.
*Wikipedia also notes that “Amy’s skills with her ‘Piko Piko Hammer’ are second to none”. This may be significant, except that I have no idea what it means.
Check out Jasmine’s awesome chicken paintings!
Clucky is lumbering (cluelessly) through space, as befits the Death Star. And as for Gigi…well, what can we say about Gigi? Escape artist, agitator, activist, devoted lieutenant to Her Supreme Craziness [see above], slug eater supreme, hardest working chicken in show business.
This Christmas, I thought I was being super tricky by ordering Jasmine and Rick two very cool Sasquatch shirts designed and screen-printed by our friend Elliott, who recently started his own screen- printing business called Genus Clothing.
On Christmas morning, they unwrapped the shirts and loved them (of course).
“Elliott made them,” I explained. “He’s got his own business.”
“Oh, really?” Rick responded, guardedly.
“Yeah, aren’t they cool blah blah blah bet you didn’t know that blah blah blah,” I blathered on, reveling in my cleverness. Yes! What a cool gift. I had done well.
*satisfying sip of coffee while patting myself on the back*
Rick sheepishly pushed a box towards me.
“You should open this one now.”
Okie doke. I’m just kind of phoning it in at this point, I’m so happy with the Sasquatch shirts.
I pulled off the wrapping paper and lifted the lid from the box.
And was seriously blown away.
Inside were a set of CluckyDotCom shirts, created by Elliott. On the back of each shirt is a large picture of Clucky herself, in all her glory. On the front is what must surely now become this blog’s official logo—the words “CluckyDotCom” over the actual silhouette of our Death Star-shaped chicken.
Rick, you are the master. All hail King Rick!
And for anyone who would like to check out Elliott’s website for Genus Clothing (and order your own CluckyDotCom merch) click here!
Jasmine was now 17 and a high school junior, busy with friends, school, friends, band, and friends. Tristan was settling into the second grade at our neighborhood school, having found several good buddies of his own and even a girlfriend. Mr. Bubby was branching out, too. We had found a daycare right across the street from Jasmine’s high school, itself only about a quarter mile down the road from my work. Jaz would walk over after school and hang out with Bubby and his “wife” Lucy (I swear sometimes they looked just like Archie Bunker and Edith) and the other kids at daycare until I got off work, picked up Tristan, and then swung by the daycare before we all headed home.
The boys’ mom had set us up on Skype before she left for Afghanistan, so we were able to talk to her that way, as well as via telephone and, of all things, Facebook. Our middle daughter, Misty, had recently set up a Facebook account for me (thank you, Misty!) and I used it to post countless pictures of the boys so their mom could see what we were doing each day.
We did not watch or listen to the news during that time; rather, we attempted to stay in the moment as best we could. The anxiety we all felt knowing our daughter/mother/sister was in Afghanistan was offset by daily adventures and milestones.
One particular celebration I remember was when Gig and Clucky, now around six months old and chicks no longer, started to lay eggs. Gigi was first, with her smallish, brown speckled eggs. It took Clucky a while longer to figure things out, but she finally got the hang of it. Her eggs were pinkish – easily distinguished from Gigi’s, so we could always tell who was laying where or if one of them skipped a day.
We marked the occasion by baking a special “Chicken Cake” with those first few eggs.
Another memorable occasion was the clear fall day when we carved jack-o-lanterns on the patio, with Gigi and Clucky wandering through our legs, pecking the pumpkin seeds out of the pulp being slung everywhere.
That year, Tristan dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween and Bubby was Yoda. The next year, in 2009, we would go with an entirely Star Wars theme, per Tristan’s request — Clucky made a cameo appearance as the Death Star, Tristan was Boba Fett, Bubby was Yoda again (hey, the costume still fit), and their mom, having just returned safely from Afghanistan, was Princess Leia.
When a U.S. Marine goes out in public dressed up as Princess Leia, you know she’s happy to be home.
Clucky (left) and The Death Star (right) — compare and contrast
When I was a kid, my parents always referred to last place as “the behind leader.” Among our chicks, Clucky had been the unequivocal behind leader from day one. It was actually pretty endearing.
However, the unexpected departure of Babraham set in motion a profound change in the dynamics of our backyard flock.
Gigi, always Babraham’s faithful second in command, momentarily lost her bearings in the absence of the alpha chicken. Though it took only a short time for Gigi to recover herself, by then it was too late. Somehow, incredibly, Clucky had seized control of the coop.
The amount of time required for absolute power to corrupt Clucky’s tiny brain and questionable soul was truly staggering.
It soon became increasingly difficult to ignore a striking similarity between Clukcy and the Death Star.
A new era had begun.
This is how it all began, in the spring on 2008. Clucky, Gigi and Babraham. This picture is a fairly typical one of our little flock on an outing to the garden. Babraham, on the far right, was the leader from day one (for an unfortunate reason which we were to discover a few months later). Gigi, in the center, the second-in-command and faithful lieutenant. And then Clucky on the left, bringing up the rear, always a little clueless. That’s my girl.
NAME THAT CHICKEN
Jasmine, then 16, was inspired by a line from the movie Wayne’s World to name her chick Babraham Lincoln, or Babe for short. Click here to watch Wayne and Garth’s “Babraham Lincoln” scene.
Rick named his chicken Gigi after Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, the Italian soccer player. Can’t quite remember why, but here is a great highlight reel of Buffon saves.
Which brings us to Clucky J. Cluckington. The “J” stand for “justice”. I don’t remember even considering any other names for my chick. Again, not sure why. She was just meant to be Clucky. Possibly a latent childhood memory of Lady Cluck from Disney’s Robin Hood? She does have more nicknames than any other of the other chickens. Crazy-feather, Clunky, the Death Star. But those all came later. Right now she is still just adorable little Clucky.