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Ridiculously photogenic pullet

Coco, this afternoon. She’s lost all her baby fluff and is starting to look like a proper little chicken. Isn’t she a beauty?

This one’s Uncle B’s. He’s always wanted a little black hen. He has something stuck in the back of his brain about a little black hen in folklore.

So I twiddled around the net for a while looking for little black hens. Turns out there are a lot of them in poems and images. My favorite was a song called Li’l Black Hen by a New Orleans bluesman. And the bluesman’s name was….wait for it…Coco Robicheaux.

He was singing a song about his grandmother’s – his Granmere Philomene’s – favorite chicken, La Petite Poule Noire. Her Little Black Hen. He says his grandma loved that hen, carried it around like a cat, because the tiny bird took on all the hoodoo, all the bad stuff that was floating around, absorbed it, reflected it, and protected the family. The chicken was the family’s talisman and guardian, and while it lived they felt safe.

Yeah. Huh. Uncle B just pulled the name Coco out of thin air and attached it to the chicken. As Monsieur Robicheaux was a medicine man and died in 2011, I am going to assume our bird is him reincarnated. Because, really, that’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

You know, I bet we have 20% less hoodoo already! Thanks, Coco!

Good weekend, folks.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 12, 2013, 11:45 pm

The Weasel embroidereth not! I have absolutely no idea why I suggested Coco as her name, save that she is dark. Nor have I any idea why I have been so determined to have a black hen in the flock.

I have a dim memory of a childhood book, or story… but no more than that. Black hens appear in several grimoires (of course!) but we shan’t go there, shall we, my dears…?

All I know is that I wanted a black hen. And she’s a fine and feisty bird.

Hoodoo, schoomdo!

Or, um, maybe not.. should she start singing da blooz.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 12, 2013, 11:59 pm

Well, I always wanted to be like Alex Ramsey and have a black stallion. Or a black leopard. Or a black wolf. I wasn’t particular. When I got older I had a black Mustang GT. In any case, that’s one cute chook y’ got there. Is she speckled, at all? It’s hard to tell from a black and white photo, but it looks like her feathers are dusted with pollen or something around her head.

A friend of mine has an African grey parrot, and I asked her once how she reads his body language. It seemed to me like birds don’t do much in the way of facial expressions, but she says no, they do several things, like “pinning” their pupils when they’re pisses off about something, which is a good time to take your hand away from their mouths. Anything comparable in chickens? They’re probably less pissy than parrots to start with.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 13, 2013, 12:01 am

Meant to say “pissed” off, not “pisses.” Stupid tablet keyboard. Stupid fingers.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: July 13, 2013, 12:29 am

This song was a treat. I was listening to it as I read, and wondering how blues singers maintained that gravelly vocal style when…

He was drinking deeply from a bottle of Tabasco hot sauce between lines, as he does, to keep his voice healthy, and nodding to his frottoir — rubboard – player Chaz.

That right there is hard core.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 13, 2013, 12:51 am

Check this little clip out!


Your Justice system is fucked … your judge has just destroyed the trial.

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: July 13, 2013, 1:41 am

Paula, was it a GT 350, ot the awesome GT 500? A ’67 or a ’68 ? You lucky,lucky woman! My Nightmist Blue Mustang was a 1967 Fastback, with a 289 HiPo. A cool enough Mustang, but no GT 350 or 500.

I bought a Chevy back in February, and a friend insista I name it after her, as it is an ImPaula.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 13, 2013, 2:17 am

Chicken Thief Shot and Killed!

Florida Chicken Community Now Safer!


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 13, 2013, 2:25 am

Stay away from de voodoo
-A troll NPC in World of Warcraft

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: July 13, 2013, 2:47 am

If I were Coco I’d be careful, don’t they use chicken feet in their voodoo shenanigans?

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: July 13, 2013, 5:02 am

I think dripping chicken blood over arrangements of feathers is also part of the voodoo. Probably still better than ObamaCare.

Comment from GIL, formerly Mark
Time: July 13, 2013, 6:42 am

In Chicken-Tongue she’s already known as Madimoiselle Co-Co. she speaks many Ancient Languages: Slug, Maize, Creole, WaryCockedEye, and even a bit of a Fox. The other Chickens will make fun of her in public and laugh at her, but privately they will seek her out for private 1:1 information. How do I get rid of lice and cooties? “Find some Lavender,” quoth She. “How do I pass a big egg through a tight Gonger?” “Eat lots of oily slugs, and BE-KAKKKK! as loud as you can'” she wisely whispers. Who are those two Peeple? “They are the Ones who have Enemy Names, but they bring us Wonderful things, so you need to look your best when they are around, and mind your Manners, and ALWAYS be neat, tidy, and photogenic. Wipe that poo from your wing and go out there and start clucking.” “Go on”! Madimoiselle Co-Co is going to be a Wise Bird. Treat her well!

Comment from GIL, formerly Mark
Time: July 13, 2013, 6:55 am

More on Co-Co. She is also a Descendent from that Great Matriarch Hen in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Pertelote. Pertelote and Chanticleer are always crowing at each other’s lack of knowledge about the Other Sex in Chicken World.

We alle desiren, if it myghte bee,
To han housbondes hardy, wise, and free,
And secree, and no nygard, ne no fool,
150 Ne hym that is agast of every tool,
Ne noon avauntour; by that God above!

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale
lines 142-175: Pertelote the chicken defies bad dreams and cowardly men

I KNEW I had read about Co-Co before! 😉


Comment from GIL, formerly Mark
Time: July 13, 2013, 7:03 am

Sorry, I’m perseverating and hogging the blog. It’s really fun to re-read Chaucer after so many years!

Be mindful, Sweas and Uncle B. In Chapter 2 of the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Pertolote (Co-Co’s Descendant) starts prescribing lAND dispenin axatifsand purgatifs for Chanticleer and the other Fowles. Batten down the hatches! Get the hosepipe out, the one with the power spray! I Feel Like Lettuce Tonight!!


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 13, 2013, 12:20 pm

I suspect you are in the right era, GIL (fM) It’s been many years since I read Chaucer in ME. Too many years.



Comment from stina
Time: July 13, 2013, 1:27 pm

And here I thought she was named after Coco Chanel.

She (Chook Coco) definitely has that minimalist Chanel elegance; sort of a little-black-dress thing in Bantam-hen format.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 13, 2013, 1:57 pm

In one of my favorite Neville Shute Norway books—The Legacy (aka A Town Like Alice), the plot abruptly turns on a “fine black chicken and a bottle of beer.” I was much too young when I read the book in the early 60s, but I’ve read it and re-read it through the years, watched the television miniseries, etc. The story turned me into a Norway fan, and I have an almost complete collection of his books. And I have an odd fondness for fine black chickens.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 13, 2013, 3:21 pm

Actually, Stina, you are right. We’d said that too once the name popped out of the aether. She’s certainly a very chic little figure. And I won’t even say ‘for a chicken’! 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 13, 2013, 3:22 pm

A much under-appreciated author, Deborah, I completely agree! No doubt he’ll be rediscovered in a few years time. He deserves to be.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 13, 2013, 11:54 pm

Sweasel is a tad clucky

Comment from relaxyourback
Time: July 14, 2013, 2:30 am

Auntie Weasel! It seems I’ve managed some Google-fu of my very own. Here you are and here I is. Ahhhh. At last. Re-unite-d and it feeeeels so gooood. (Thank you, Peaches & Herb).

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 14, 2013, 2:50 am

No, Scott, nothing like that. Not that cool. Just a plain old 1990 LX with the V8, five-speed manual, black in and out, with a big-ass spoiler and black Enkai (sp?) wheels. I didn’t have the money or mechanical know-how to support a vintage car.

Impaula, huh? I’ll have to remember that one.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 14, 2013, 5:54 am

Nothing to do with this thread, but this thread’s what’s open for the moment.

Here in Florida, USA, we had a rare, VERY rare, occurrence: a fair decision in the matter of a judicial trial for second degree murder. Mr. George Zimmerman was just acquitted on his original murder charge and also on the illegitimately added-on charge of manslaughter in the now-oficially-recognized self-defense killing of one Trayvon Martin.

Racist media cranks, race baiting self-proclaimed community leaders, and moronic slebs are shocked! SHOCKED!! at the wholly unexpected (haw!) not guilty verdict.

It fills my heart with deep and fulfilling schadenfreude to watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those so stupid or self-deluded as to believe the prosecutors failed to show guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Hurrah! – for a change! (-:

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 14, 2013, 6:55 am

I’ve been watching this closely.
CNN has released Zimmermanns address – niiiice!
CNN is complicit in stoking the flames.

Now that the riots have started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBtSN7-zoj0&feature=player_embedded

Why aren’t they in the media?

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: July 14, 2013, 8:41 am

Now that you have enough chickens for lead vocals and backups, does the English country night abound with Big Band music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PENJxl-THS8

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 14, 2013, 11:49 am

…and O, NBC showed his SS# on TV.
One of those sad acts, when Fate throws 2 players on life’s stage without a script and neither has the improvisational skills to gracefully exit stage left. Both careers on the stage are ruined.
BUT definitely a desirable judgement in light of the fact that the prosecution was racially motivated and guilt pre-determined by the media, influenced by the WH. Though non-white, GZ was close enough for the DOJ’s definition of a hate crime – white on black ONLY. Had GZ been black, this would’ve perhaps made the local crime section of the FL newspapers.
I’m hoping GZ gets civil justice in a malicious prosecution suit, but I doubt he’ll want to keep the footlights on any longer than they have been.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 14, 2013, 5:34 pm

Hullo there, RYB. I’m rumbled!

Just so you know, this blog is usually consumed with politics of the wingnut variety. As I always carefully avoided the topic of politics IRL, I feel compelled to disclose this when old friends discover the blog.

I miss you guys 🙁

Comment from Nina
Time: July 15, 2013, 2:34 am

That there’s another cute hen!

I hope my admiration of her ebon feathers is adequate proof that I am not racist. Because, these days, we crazy ass crackers have to establish our bona fides, and what better way than with a lovely lass of the poultry persuasion?

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 15, 2013, 4:14 am

Trayvon Chicken!!!!!!

Comment from Can’tharkmycry
Time: July 15, 2013, 11:49 am

Uncle B, switching eras, could it have been A.A. Milne?

“Berryman and Baxter,
Prettiboy and Penn
And old Farmer Middleton
Are five big men . . .
And all of them were after
The Little Black Hen.”

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 15, 2013, 12:05 pm

I’m concerned about your Chickens privacy!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 15, 2013, 12:06 pm

I dug up that one, Can’t hark, but it didn’t ring a bell for him. There’s another poem, anonymous but early 20th C from the slang, that begins:

Said the little red rooster, “Gosh, all hemlock, things are tough!
Seems that worms are getting scarcer and I cannot find enough.
What’s become of all those fat ones is a mystery to me.
There were thousands through that rainy spell, but now where can they be?”

The old black hen heard him, didn’t grumble or complain.
She had gone through lots of dry spells; she had lived through flood and rain.
So she flew up on the grindstone, and she gave her claws a whet,
As she said, “I’ve never seen the time when there were no worms to get.”

He didn’t know that one, either, but it pleased his black capitalist heart.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 15, 2013, 12:42 pm

I can see how it would!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 15, 2013, 12:50 pm

Actually–I found links to a couple of magazines from 1922 on Google books, with a longer poem, still unattributed (and slightly different versions). One from “The Labor Digest”:

(before Uncle Badger bristles–the editor was “against strikes” and “for industrial peace”); and another from a blacksmith’s magazine, but I’m not including that link for fear of a visit to Akismet.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 15, 2013, 12:53 pm

Not to perseverate, but–this one attributes it, although it is entirely possible the attribution is inaccurate

And it seems to have been VERY popular in magazines for the year 1922–I found several others.

Sigh. Now ask me why I care!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 15, 2013, 1:34 pm

The only Chicken Poem I know is an old blues song lyric ( which raises an argument from my college days where a professor insisted that the lyrics to Procol Harum’s “A lighter shade of pale” did not constitute poetry):

I loves my chicken baby!
Lord how I loves them thighs!
I loves my chicken baby!
Lord how I loves them breasts!

I stole one last night, and the night before
Gonna go back and steal ten or nine more!

I loves my chicken baby……


And by the way, I don’t want your Coco to get a swelled head or anything but when I saw her pic, I thought she had a lot of “The Maltese Falcon” look going on. I suppose she is worth her weight in gold …to the Badger family anyhow.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 15, 2013, 2:18 pm

Hasil Adkins wasn’t just a fan of hot-dogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOpnplMQmCg

Comment from mojo
Time: July 15, 2013, 7:51 pm

“…it’s got black, lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes…”
— Jaws

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