First of all I want to say that I am not a stalker. I prefer to think of myself as a great admirer of things fine.
When I went to the Northeastern Poultry Congress this past weekend, it hadn’t occurred to me that Jan Brett would be there. And not only there but with her polish chickens, no less!!
As a mother of 6 I have read (and re-read, and re-read) many childrens’ books illustrated by Jan. She has beautiful illustrations that are as calming to adults as they are to children.
I’ve even contacted Jan (through her agent) about an article I was writing on hen houses. Here’s a little fact – Jan has noise insulated hen houses for her roosters.
After I had left the Willy Wonka of chicken salesrooms, I walked down the hall to the exhibition hall.
Gasp. The first thing I saw was a row of Black Polish show birds. After having just decided I couldn’t buy any (because they were sold in pairs) this was just cruel. Life was taunting me.
But still, I can appreciate beauty when I see it. I approached the birds, slowly working my way down the row talking and cooing to them as only a chicken lover does, telling them all how pretty they were.
And then I came upon a woman in an apron who was taking some of her birds out of the cages and spraying their feathers. Must be the owner. I went back to the birds.
Record scratch. Wait a minute.
Black Polish show birds, woman owner (in a very cute apron) = Jan Brett.
“Are you Jan?” I asked preferring not to say what I was actually thinking which was “OH. MY. GOD, YOU’RE JAN BRETT, RIGHT?”
She looked at me and smiled. “Yes,” she said, “I am.”
“I write about chickens I started telling her. “I have a flock at home and I’ve always lusted for a Black Polish. You have absolutely stunning birds.” I told her.
“Thank you.” And then she said, “Would you mind holding this one for a few minutes while I clean up?”
Would I mind?
She put one of her male birds into my arms where he docilely sat while I stroked his back.
“His name is Pasquale,” she told me.
I was talking to Jan Brett, holding one of her birds at a chicken show. Life is kind of good sometimes.
Jan Brett's Pasquale
“Such a calm bird,” I said. Jan went on to tell me a little about the breed and how lovely and gentle they were. Continue reading →