The Abusua (Clan)
Behold! The Noble Chicken!
Dedicated to Kanjo, the Patriarch of the Coop. Alas, Poor Kanjo, we knew him well. He left for the Great Coop in the Sky Jan. 22, 2008, after 6 long and happy (Maybe. Who knows? He was not very expressive.) years.
Chickens, and, in fact, all birds, should be respected and admired, for they are living dinosaurs.
Rationale: Since Tooge grew up in a city, i.e. Denver, and, as a child (in current parlance, a terrorist), became intrigued by Alda Brown's chickens, she has always wanted chickens. Yes! It is true that she hypnotized Alda's chickens one day. There was a time, in Zambia, when the Handlos family had chickens (in addition to assorted other wildlife); however, these birds were doomed from hatching, with unfortunate, but appropriate names, e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc. At last, she and Wayne have accumulated an outstanding array of spectacular birds, i.e. designer chickens. Now, all she needs do is enjoy them, other than feed, water and admire these fine specimens and, occasionally, clean their coop, or rather, an impressive three apartment condo, called the Coop Mahal.
History: This journey began at the local Farmer's Market, when Tooge met a 4H chicken lover and bought two Japanese Bantam roosters, i.e. the brothers, "Kanjo" ("serene") and "Hisu" ("hysterical"). Sibling rivalry and violence grew, so Tooge called her 4H source to provide two ladies to distract the brothers. Thus appeared two lovely, Bantam (very small) hens, a Cochin, Fluffy L'Amour, ("fluffy") and a Japanese, "Aisai" ("dutiful wife"). Hisu and Fluffy had one neurotic son,"Banchin" (a cross between a Japanese Bantam and a Bantam Cochin.) Kanjo and Aisai had fourteen offspring.
The coop/ condo was getting crowded and noisy. There were also frequent (to some) humorous and (to others) appalling, comments about chicken barbeques. So with some sorrow, as well as collective relief in the Pawley/Handlos domain, Tooge gave Hisu and all the chicks, except Banchin, to a local pet store which did not have large pythons. The owner has chickens on her ranch (hopefully.) The journey continued last Easter when Wayne gave Tooge the present of four designer chicks. Since, Tooge had just read the DaVinci Code, she named them Newton (as in "Sir Isaac"), DaVinci (as in "Leonardo"), Botticelli (as in "Zandro") and Hugo (as in "Victor.")
The Early Collection
Aisai & Kanjo Fluffy L'Amour Fluffy & Banchin
(Japanese Bantams) (Cochin Bantam) (Cochin x Japanese Bantams)
The Easter 2004 Collection/ The Avian Priory of Sion
DaVinci Botticelli DaVinci Pteridactyl Hugo Newton
(Frizzle) (Frizzles) (Silkie ) (The Good Lord only knows)
Further Comments/ questions:
*What is that white stuff? (Uncle Bill)
Answer: It is not Hugo's feathers, it is a necessary by-product of chickens. As every chicken-lover knows, birds do not pee. Crystals of urate from the chicken's kidneys are "the white stuff."
*Is it normal for chickens to follow their keepers around the yard? (Neighbor)
*Does Tooge need therapy? (author)
Ans: Everyone needs to regain balance in a demanding world.
Update (Jan. 2008):
Coop Mahal became a microcosm of the world - conflict, lust, joy, aggression, trauma and, yes, change.
Asai (the Matriarch), DaVinci, Bottecelli, Fluffy L'Amour and eight daughters of Fluffy x ???? remain.
No longer with us:
Hisu lapsed into a state of constant hysteria, which caused chaos in the Coop. He was given away.
Banchin, Hisu's son, inherited his father's mental problems, and died, perhaps of depression.
Pteridactyl Hugo and Newton became very aggressive. They were dispatched (a.k.a. killed) by Wayne after many attacks and a bite on Wayne's ear.
The Handlos-Pawley estate has an impressive and ever-expanding pet cemetary.