Sitting in Aunt Lo's backyard is a little like visiting the Safari Park in San Diego. At first, you see a lot of foliage and no animals. The price of admission feels unreasonable at this point, and you tell yourself, "Maybe the animals like it better this way, but I can see trees at home."
You settle down with your knitting and forget about the animals altogether.
Then, you hear shuffling.
It comes closer.
You're afraid you might make a sudden move and scare it, but Coco Chanel is surprisingly -- if not disturbingly -- social.
He reminds a little of OFD: shuffling slowly along, yet somehow managing to be wherever you're trying to go. You switch lawn chairs, telling yourself it has absolutely nothing to do with your irrational fear of being chased down by a speeding tortoise.
Well, hullo! This is more like it. Dainty Clara Schumann has a small pen for when she's outside.
Here she is in Aunt Lo's arms.
I'd calmed down some and was knitting away when suddenly, I saw something looming in the periphery.
I don't know where the expression "chicken" comes from, because they had no fear of me. This one actually went after my yarn and squawked at me when I pulled it away.
So now I have a new phobia. And unlike echidnas and koalas, these birds of prey are all over North America.
Lo came outside just as I was about to run screaming into the house see what was taking her so long.
Even from Lo's lap, you can see her giving me the eye.
It's a hard image to shake, the sight of a vicious chicken. I feel like I see her everywhere.