November 14, 2014 – I awoke to a dusting of snow on the ground! You know what that means. Time to dig out my snorkel jacket, snow boots and mittens. Charlotte and Addie presented each of us with a new scarf this morning. Mine is a lovely shade called, ultramarine blue. It is bold and vibrant, soft and warm all at the same time. I love it! The ladies even made scarves for Bo and Tim and the five drakes. We look so good in our new winter wear, that I suggested it might be a fine occasion to have a group photo taken.
“Ahh… I don’t know about that,” Violet warned. “Are you forgetting what happened last year when we secured the services of one Dumpling Longfeather? You and Sawyer ended up in France while the others were detained in a Nova Scotia jail. The entire predicament could have been avoided had we not hired Dumpling as our flock photographer.”
“I remember,” I replied sheepishly. “But one could make the argument that those chocolate croissants were worth every second of scandal.”
“I’d have to agree with Happy on that one,” laughed Sawyer. “Those flaky pastries were the best I’ve ever tasted.”
“What if we hired a different photographer?” Addie suggested, liking the idea of a group shot. “Someone perhaps who’s local and well-known. We’ll do a background check, talk to some of her clients…?”
“Or I could take the picture…” Waffles offered shyly.
Wilma scoffed. “What do you know about snapping snapshots, singlecomb?”
“Quite a bit, actually,” responded the young hen. “I’ve been studying photography through online classes and taking photos with the old camera that Mom had in the garage. I have a portfolio with pictures of each of you.”
“You’ve been SPYING on us!” Wilma snapped.
“Waffles,” I said gently. “May we see your work?”
Waffles’ eyes danced with joy. We watched her spin on her heels and run toward the wooden box in the shed where she keeps her most valuable possessions. She returned, standing in a puddle of sun, her newly grown feathers of golden rust illuminated in light. Waffles has always been a cheerful and comedic bird, but something about her was different today. She looked…blissfully content.
Before she handed me her portfolio, I leaned closer and whispered, “You figured out your passion”. She smiled broadly, as well as birds with beaks can, and nodded.
“I believe I have,” she laughed.
I was thrilled for Waffles. Her images are breathtaking. She was able to capture the true essence of each of her flockmates. Even Wilma looked good in her photograph. Waffles captured the queen in a moment of reflection; a black and white still of Wilma standing in the shadow of an evergreen tree watching over the flock as we ranged in the side yard. It was stunning; simple and pure. Wilma was clearly moved when she saw herself portrayed so elegantly.
“I never thought a jokester like you would have such a sensitive side,” Wilma uttered softly.
“It all comes from the same place,” Waffles explained. “I am pulled by chicken emotion.”
“Well, I for one think you do a splendid job,” Lottie gushed. “I vote that we hire you on the spot!”
The entire flock clucked, ticked, purred and bawked in agreement.
“Wait a minute!” Peaches cried, holding her pet stick in the air. “If Waffles is going to take the picture, how can she be in it? It won’t truly be a family portrait if she’s not included!”
Expressions drooped as we contemplated this new enigma.
“Guys, it’s not a problem!” Waffles laughed. “I’ll simply attach the camera to a tripod and trigger the shutter through a wireless remote. No worries at all!”
A raucous celebration ensued. How wonderful to have a new family portrait taken by one of our own. We made the plan to meet by the smelly bush tomorrow at 9:00 A.M. when the sun, if it’s out, will be high in the sky. We also voted to include the ducks. We like them well enough, and Peaches really wants to stand next to her new beau, Francis Drake.