Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Coop

A work of art always surprises us;
it has worked its effect before we
have become conscious of its presence.
                                      Sir Herbert Read


 This is a story that was inspired by a beautiful watercolour painting of an old door leading to a chicken coop. Painted by the extremely talented artist T. Michael Normile of Napanee Ontario. It touched my heart. I am sorry that I cannot share a photo of the painting. These photos do not have anything to do with the story.



Setting down the heavy pails of water on the dusty feather covered floor, I listen to the sounds of tiny feet thumping up the stairs. This always makes me smile. “Wait for me Mama”. I love those words. Every time I hear them, my heart swells. I turn towards the voice, where the familiar red tassel bobbing up and down begins to appear. Next the red and white knitted hat, then those beautiful blue eyes with long lashes, and finally those bright red cheeks with the huge smile between. Life always feels so right, when I see her face knowing she is happy. “I’m waiting Sally.”

Sally stirs up the dust, as she shuffles through, and over the floor, making her way to the wire covered door. She slips the hook up, the door opens. Two of the chickens fly off their perch, throwing dust and feathers into the air. Sally laughs out loud. We hurry into the coop “Shut the door Sally.”

The rays of sun, try to break through the dirty dust covered window facing the south. The falling dust dances on the rays, trying to find the floor where the chickens now sit, while looking for its warmth on this cold December day. “Now, Mama now?” “Yes Sally go ahead, but remember be gentle.” Sally sets her little yellow basket on that dirty floor and smiles, her eyes sparkle. “Careful now.”

Sally slips her hand under Ruby, the old Barred Rock, who seems to have lived here on the farm forever. “Ouch, bad Ruby” I laugh knowing that was going to happen, just like every other morning. I giggle thinking Ruby is not a morning chicken. Sally once again tries to slip her hand under Ruby. Her tiny hand pulls out what she had been hoping for. “Good girl Ruby.”  I smile, knowing she says that same thing, every morning. Familiarity and that smile, keep me going in this harsh world of farming in the winter. Sally cradles that egg in her tiny little hands, then sets it gently into the waiting basket “It’s so warm Mama” she looks up, smiling.


Sally picks up the basket and carries it over to Bessy, the younger Barred Rock, snuggled in the straw bed nest. “Don’t be like Ruby, Bessy, I will not hurt you.”  “Good girl” another egg is placed in the basket. “I love my chickens Mama.” "I know Sally". I pour the water from the buckets into the waterers, while Sally holds that basket tight, as if it was full of treasure. I close the wire covered door and hook the latch.

“Time to go milk Mary now Sally” “OK Mama” I watch as that red tassel bobs back down those dusty old stairs, I follow behind.


I wrote this for my creative writing class. It may, or may not have some truth to it. Those who know me, know. 
                                                      
I hope you enjoyed it. My only wish is that you could see the actual painting.


Later

35 comments:

  1. Beautiful story! Such gentle and loving imagery. I would have loved to have collected hen eggs in the morning as a girl!

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  2. I remember that story, B. It touched me then and rekindled fond memories of you reading it in class. Your voice is always so strong, and comes through so well in your stories. It's great that you can be so inspired by one of Mike's paintings. He is indeed a talented artist.

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  3. Such a cute story I could see it all in my head as I was reading it as if I were there ! Great job . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day .

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  4. sweet. could see and smell everything.

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  5. That basket WAS full of treasure.
    A beautiful story. thank you.

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  6. Echoing EC, thta basket was full of treasure. Fresh from the chicken eggs are the best, like gold.
    This little story is beautiful, I'm smiling from ear to ear.

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  7. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. A step away from everyday life into a different one.

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

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  8. I hear some grains of truth in your beautiful story!

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    1. Yes truth and memories stirred by a painting.

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  9. That was a lovely little story. A lovely way to begin my Friday. N

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  10. What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it.
    Hugs,
    Sandy

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  11. Love how a painting can evoke memories and stories. Great job. We still have the painting if you want to refresh your memory.

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  12. I hear the longing and the love in this one.

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  13. Beautiful story! Love the photos too.

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  14. Enjoyed your story and photos a lot, love the kitten peeking over at you, the lovely worn boards of the little building, 1897 over the door! Your stories often take me rambling backward down memory lane, love this effect you have Buttons!

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  15. Grace, it has truth in it for every little girl who has gathered eggs and for every older woman who has watched. It's a sweet story and brings back so many precious memories. Thank you.

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  16. ...and one day soon..."wait for me, Grandma!" :)

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  17. I love the imagery of the bouncing red tassel! I used to gather eggs with my Grandma.

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  18. I don't need to see the painting, Buttons. I can see Sally and Mama in the chicken coop very clearly. ;)

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  19. What a wonderful story, and I don't need the painting either- it sounds like a memory to me.

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  20. I have no concern for the truth in this piece. I do know that it is some masterful description. You have a neat way to describe the child appearing up the stairway.

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  21. I felt like I was there .....lovely images in my mind and lovely photos you have shared. Loved the story!

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  22. Just a lovely story...i see within :) Hugs M xox

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  23. You didn't need a picture your words painted them perfectly:)

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  24. I googled that artist name and his paintings are beautiful, very colorful. Love this story and the images.

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  25. Hello Buttons, what a beautiful story. It sounds like truth to me, I can see Sally collecting the eggs. Have a happy weekend!

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  26. Gracie, so beautiful...truth or not you've brought us into those cold dusty sunbeams and warmed our hearts. It's such a beautiful story I can see the little red bobble hat bouncing...and I loved the cat of course.

    Jen

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  27. You paint the scene with your words. Sally and Mama and even Ruby and Bessy come alive for me.

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  28. I would think there is truth in this...it stirs the heart a bit too much not to be. And if there isn't some truth, there ought to be. LOL It is a wonderful read.

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  29. You are an excellent writer. Sweet and interesting story. Pictures are good too. Neat post!

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  30. Great story!
    We will keep stopping by your blog in the future now that we know about it...

    Victoria
    www.afewsmallstories.blogspot.com

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.