Thursday, March 20, 2008
They Sure Are Purdy
I needed something from Rural King. Dog-food, I think. Amelia has a corn allergy which means if I do not buy her ridiculously expensive food she chews on herself.
Do you know about Rural King? Its a small chain in the Midwest USA, and (unfortunately for how this reflects upon me) usually has that strange or obscure item I cannot find anywhere else.
This last trip I even found something goofy for my treasured pen-pal (also the author of Pretty things I see). I won't say what yet because she reads the blog (hi!) and, by the way, she's one of the few people who read this blog that also leave me comments. (HINT, HINT).
I have always loved feed stores, something you might not expect from a lifetime vegetarian, but they hold such possibility with the seeds and the food and the tools, and they smell so good!
I've loved going to the ancient feed store, Dillingers, since I was a kid- it's a tiny, darkly lit little store in the old part of town that still has brick streets an hardly no one goes to. Dillingers has an old wood burning stove and the dusty, earthy smell of hay and grain and old wood. Each year near Easter they would have a box of hatched chicks for sale. My mom never let us get one, she always said the coyotes would eat it and I would feel bad when they died. Which was an accurate assessment (and she almost never said no to new pets, so I didn't pitch too much of a fit).
But anyway, I was at Rural King, which is vaguely like the Wall-mart version of Dillingers, when I spotted a horse trough with live chicks in it.
I don't really like chickens- they're usually pretty mean- but the babies are so adorable, even as they fight and poop and lay in their food.
As I was shooting pictures a rural man and his father pushed their shopping cart up, and the man said "Oh, lets stop and look at the baby chicks".
Both men smiled down at the chicks, and the older man said
"They sure are purdy".
Seeing me, the younger man cracked a joke, "I'll pay a dollar for 'em when they're big enough to eat".
I really think this was for my benefit, so that I would know he's a man, and would never see chicks as 'just' cute.
But he did think the chicks were cute, and so did his dad. And none of us were under any illusions as to how the chicks would ultimately end up. I can relate with those chicks. Born, raised and devoured in Southern Illinois. OK, OK, I'm not devoured. But nibbled, at least.
Of course, I won't always be here, its just that I feel as tied to the land as these adorable fuzzy flightless birds. And, well, we are cute as hell.