Also knAown as – Davey Weathercock
William Bonaparte Warren • Oren Pierce
Enjoy a wide array of stories, fiction, memoiresf from David's books, blogs facebook and Tiny Town Times adventures
At the age of six, David S. Warren moved to Ithaca (the pre-history of which became the subject of his first published novel: the pre-Garp, The World According to Two-Feathers ) from the tiny Adirondack village of Natural Bridge, New York, which would later appear, much changed, in his second novel: Natural Bone, the title of which he adopted for the construction company , Natural Bone Builders that he operated for many years before moving up Cayuga lake to Dog’s Plot, the homestead that gives its name to his third novel: Dog’s Plot: the Book of William. His available publications and the blog from which “The Last Marriage” was excerpted, can be found by visiting DavidSWarren.com.
Teddy Bears and other manufactured, companion-animals (including one very small Lamb who will play a large part in the following chapter), everyone of them abandoned by children, all lived togetherin an old trunk. The Trunk Animals were mostly not talkers because, for the most part, their mouths were not true mouths but were just painted or sewn on, and so they didn’t talk so much as they mumbled, grumbled, or sometimes hummed … and some hummed most all the time until someone, usually Uncle Threadbear, asked them to please stop. (Go to Story)
The Red Hand and the Magic Slate
By David S. Warren
On a windy April day six years ago, I was paddling along the flow between Lake Bonaparte and Mud Lake when I saw two crows flying erratically over the swamp and fighting over (or maybe struggling together to carry) what I recognized as a human hand.
The weird thing - as if that’s not weird enough - is that the hand itself was trying to get away; and succeeded at one point: fell into the cattails; and then the crows snatched it up again and flew on, rising and dipping over the outlet. I might have concluded that I was only mistaking a fisti-clump of fish entrails for a flailing hand, but I knew better. I knew exactly what hand it was,......though I hadn’t even thought of the Red Hand for many years; had rather put it out of my mind.
Taken way aback, I stopped paddling and let the canoe drift,
until the wind had pushed it into the alders of the far shore. It was the Red Hand: the hand that, years and years ago, when I was more or less a boy and still new in the Warren household, had taken over my Magic Slate. (Go to story)
I Married a Chicken
By David S. Warren
When I introduce visitors to my wife Olive, most of them pretend not to notice that she’s a chicken , and are too polite to ask why I married outside my species. So let me explain.
First of all: our relationship is not about sex. Get that out of your mind. Ours is a marriage of mutual benefits and general convenience. Of course it is more convenient for Olive than for me, and unfortunately, eggs are not one of the benefits. Hens, like other women, are born with a limited number of ovaries to let down in a life tIme - around three hundred and fifty for a hen - but Olive stopped laying long before reaching that limit, no doubt as a result of her abuse by the other chickens.
I don’t know if it was the roosters or the hens who ganged up on her, but one morning during the first year of the flock, I found her lying in a corner of the coop, beaten nearly flat.
She is a Dominker, which is a breed common in the nineteenth century, before Asian varieties were bred into the European stock, and different enough in featheringand comb that the other chickens discriminate, to say the least. Her several brother Domikers had already been driven by the other roosters to the periphery of the flock, where they have not survived.
I carried her up to the house and set her in a box on the floor by the chair where I write.
I put her food in a bowl on the kitchen floor along side the dog dishes, but each evening at roosting time she insisted on climbing up over my lap to spend the night on the back of my chair, The gallon can of Olive Oil sits on the shelf behind her. And so, she became Olive.
After a week or two, I tried to reintroduce her into the chicken coop....but the hens immediately attacked her, so I brought her back to the house. And when I put her out among the ranging hens, she would immediately fly at them in like a hopped up rooster in a cock fight.
She had less of an aversion to the roosters, and would occasionally offer herself to one of the favorites I sometimes allowed into the house. She also started crowing occasionally......never the complete phrasing, but two thirds of it, which is more than I have ever heard from the other hens.
My mother used to say, “Whistling girls and crowing hens, always come to some bad end.” But there isn’t much I could do about it.
The crowing behavior first began when I would leave the house.... or even the room.
She would also crow sometimes when I sang. This first occurred a couple of years ago when I began doing my weekly video weather report for the Tiny Town Times. She was usually sitting on the back of my chair when I recorded the sitting down portion of the video, so I incorporated her in it, as Olive the Weather Hen.
I guess that was a good move. Olive became famous, with more fans than me in my role as Davey Weathercock, and she aroused more interest than the substance of my weather comentery.
For a while, before the economic crash, we made a weekly salary which kept us in chicken feed and wine, for which Olive has developed a taste. We entertained a number of eminent Olive seeking pilgrims.
They don’t love her any better than I do. Olive is an indiscriminate, serial pooper, but a fussy housekeeper otherwise, and spends hours a day poking around, examining small objects and specks of nothing much, and generally policing the floor. She even caught a mouse in here once, and always grumbles when one is heard gnawing in the walls or when one flits across the floor. Or imagines that she does. We share meals and maybe a nip of wine. When I write, she is at my feet or at my head. Her influence on my writing is obvious.
Waking mornings, we talk for a while her language mostly, between my bed and her roost. If I don’t get up soon enough, she will come off her roost, waddle across the room and fly up onto my stomach.
Then I have about five minutes to roll out and get her some breakfast (chopped cabbage usually) and if I don’t, she takes her morning dump on me.
Sure I have some cause for resentment, and I am quite tied down here by my obligations to her, but it is all by choice and I would have only my own choices to blame. I could have eaten her long ago, She sheds feathers on a regular schedule and I collect them in a bread bag.
I already have enough to make the illusion of a replacement Olive, but of course, a bag of feathers, or even a
whistling girl could never replace