Denis Olivier

There are probably better pictures on M. Olivier’s gorgeous website, but the one of the bird hit a chord. We have three kinds of chickens. The latest is the Golden Phoenix. We just have a hen and a rooster right now, and they’re currently clucking and crowing through a two-week quarantine in a big dog crate in our laundry room – which happens to be just outside our bedroom. Yeah, the little rooster’s crow can seem pretty loud when I’m trying to have a non-chicken-murdering nap.

Anyway, according to She Who Must Be Obeyed, I wasn’t supposed to teach the maremmas anything (they can sit on command now) and I wasn’t supposed to make friends with her chickens. But I tell ya, they’re just too darn cool not to play with them. This, despite the fact that they squirt poop like baseball players squirt tobacco juice. Once I’ve put the cats and dogs away, I let them tear around the laundry room, fluffing their feathers, stretching their wings. They even ended up on top of the fridge the other day. Oh, and the kitchen table – complete with Mickey Mantle residual butt squeezings. (I don’t know how that happened.) (Not.)

They’re nice little critters and I take them out just to pet them. The two are like something out of a Medieval painting. Ridiculously beautiful plumage. Anyway, I’m slowly becoming known around the house as chicken man. Whatever. Maybe I’m the one who needs to be in quarantine.

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