[lit-ideas] Sunday Something

  • From: David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2014 10:49:25 -0800

We returned from Manhattan and were greeted by a cold snap.  The chickens are 
quite vocal on the subject.  
Mimo, "You went swanning off..."
"...leaving us with a locum..."
I asked whether my replaced had erred in some way.
"Not erred, no," said Rocky, "couldn't say that."
"No, no," said Cheddar, anxious that justice be seen.
"If truth be told," said Peccorino," she was simply mingy with the bread."
I promised a good round at the end of the day.
"Meanwhile," said Appenzeller, "The water seems to have turned rather solid.  
We were wondering if you could get a practical god in to fix the problem?"  
"When one's in the neighborhood."  
I said I'd take the issue under advisement.

One reader has suggested I could write more natural history, so: chickens 
cluster on the sleeping perch but never in a line of five.  I thought the key 
to grouping, usually four and one, was pecking order, Cheddar being the one 
often left over on the right.  Now I think the issue is as simple as wind; at 
the two ends, the girls are protected from drafts.  "The fifth chicken gets the 
wind" sounds proverbial, but that's what I observe.  

I put out sour milk this week, bananas, carrot peelings.  Bananas seem to have 
fallen from fashion; sour milk remains popular.  I didn't see who ate the 
carrot peelings.  

Since our return I've looked up several times to find a delegation peering in 
the window.
Appenzeller, "Still there, is he?"
Mimo, "Hard to tell with the glare, but I believe so."
Peccorino, "Gods that come and go...quite unsettling..."
Cheddar, "Could bring on a crisis of belief."
Rocky, "I wonder if Gods migrate."
Mimo, "Fly somewhere?"
Cheddar, "Like swans?"
Peccorino "Why not?"
Appenzeller, "Where might they go?"
Mimo, "New York."
Rocky, "What's that?"
Cheddar, "It's like York...but newer."
Mimo, "What do you know about York?"
Reflective beat, Cheddar, "I thought there might some reward for participation."

We met in New York a distant relative who has a group of friends.  Over age 
ninety, she still works as a travel agent.  The five ladies share tickets to 
the opera, the symphony, experimental plays.  Their leader is one hundred and 
one.  Returned home, I'm chatting with some women in their twenties, one of 
whom was our chicken sitter.  The subject, loosely, is boys.  A woman in her 
early thirties, an engineer eleven years into a relationship, talked about a 
check-list she'd used when she was their age, "He must have..."  I asked 
whether the guy she'd ended up with had in fact achieved a high score on her 
list.  "No."  In college, she said, she'd been in a one-credit course on 
intimacy.  Wouldn't "Intimacy for Engineers" be a good title for a comic novel? 
 In my ear it echoes, "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian."  Last week's 
favorite phrase was, "Even the Peas," which comes from architect, painter and 
then sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty.  
"Everything in America," he wrote back to France, "is bigger, even the peas."  
Emma Lazarus' poem is inscribed on a very small plaque, just along from this 
line, "Keep ancient lands your storied pomp..."  Also your petit peas.  

David Ritchie,
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: