CLUCK, A book of happiness for chicken lovers (EXISLE Publishing) is a joy to read and see. The layout is perfect – a collection of brilliant photography with quotes and proverbs from around the world.
With full page close-ups of chickens involved in their daily doings on the left page, the right page expresses words of wisdom, humor, uncommon sense, tenderness, introspection and inspiration – even a baby chick must make it out of the egg, never mind cross the road. (The book solves that mystery!)
I think of my friends when I read Bernard Meltzer’s “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” Or self-forgiveness with the Danish Proverb: “Even clever hens sometimes lay their eggs among nettles.” And truth laced with humor by Margaret Thatcher: “The cocks may crow but it is the hens that lay the eggs.”
Susan Orlean depicts the beginning of this writer’s life as a “cultivated” plant lover with this: “Keeping animals, I have learned, is all about water. Who even knew chickens drank water? I didn’t, but they do, and a lot.” Thus the dead cuttings on a high shelf in a cabin in a California forest.
Others, whose quotes enrich this diversion from the mundane, include Lao Tzu and Peter Pan to CS Lewis, Eartha Kitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Evil Knievel.
New Zealand editor Freya Haanen put together CLUCK because, as she says, “Chickens are massively underappreciated animals. They’re full of personality just like any other animal. It’s really for lovers of chickens, but I’d also like to think that it might help people who’ve never considered chickens as anything but ‘bird-brained’ to see them as something more.” They are curious and daring and she believes that humans chicken out more than chickens do.
Freya is chickenless at the moment but gets her chicken fix when visiting her friends’ birds. “I just like to watch them, honestly. One of my friends has several chickens and several cats. Chickens LOVE cat food! If the cats are fed outside the chickens will come and bully the cats away from the food, and if the cats are fed inside the chickens will take advantage of every opportunity to run inside and steal as much cat food as they can fit in their bellies. She has ducks, too, and whenever the ducks fight, one of the chickens runs in to break it up.”
Get this book. Keep it at close range and read it often. It will warm your heart, enlighten your brain, make you laugh and probably lower your blood pressure and stress level. It will take you away to a different world for a while. It’s for lovers of all critters – chicken, human, or otherwise. Give yourself a treat and buy this delicious book.
Photos courtesy of CLUCK, A book of happiness for chicken lovers, EXISLE Publishing
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published January 22, 2019