All My Hearts On a String (And Then Some Bird Murder)

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I picked up a big chunk of sculpey clay a few weeks ago, so that the Kid and I would have an easy art project to play with during his school break.  In due course, I pulled it out one morning, along with all of our cookie cutters and various kitchen implements.  While the Kid cut and pounded and rolled and sliced, I did a little art making of my own.  

First, I had to cut out a chicken.  (What, you mean you don't have a chicken cookie cutter?  I think mine is even a few generations old....)  Then I started playing with imprinting a little sprig of rosemary into the clay.  Then I began cutting out hearts.  And then--just because it's a number I often catch myself keeping close track of--I decided to cut out one little heart for every soul in my keeping.  So one for me, two for Sweet Husband and the Kid, one for Moe, and 8 for the chickens--that's 12 all told.

With a hat tip to the banner in this post, lastly, I decided to poke holes in my shapes so that I could string them together.  A bit of time in the oven, a bit of sanding to remove the rough edges, a bit of embroidery floss, and--voila!--a little banner just perfect for the bare walls of January and February.

Unfortunately, as of this morning, the number of hearts became inaccurate.  For some reason unknown, one of the ladies--Joni, the lavender Orpington, for those folks keeping track at home--did not coop-up last night at dark.  Which meant that when Moe went out for his nightly constitutional...well, suffice to say, we are now one small soul short.  

I was sad to see that she had been killed, but I've honestly been more upset about the mess.  We buried poor Joni, of course, but Moe is bound and determined to track in every last bloody chicken feather in the yard.  Not to mention that apparently raw chicken doesn't agree with his stomach.  Not to mention that, at present, he's begging to come cuddle with me on the couch.  (No.  And you're not coming near my bed tonight either, you furry murderer.)    

The girls, on the other hand, were terribly agitated this morning.  I often wonder if--somewhere in their little chicken brains--they think this is some kind of sacrificial ritual.  Without fail, about once a year, Moe gets one of the birds, and always under so-stupid-it-seems-suicidal circumstances.  Perhaps the ladies believe that's the price to appease the terrier-god?  Sort of like The Lottery, they must send out one chicken to death for the good of the flock.

Wow.  So, now that we've covered the complete range--from happy art projects to inky-dark literature and chicken murder--I think I'm just going to sign off now and go have a cup of tea.