Tag Archives: attitude

Top Chicken


Charlotte, a Top Chicken
Rosy, a Chicken
That Strange Person, a Person


Charlotte, Top Chicken

That strange person is back again. She’s approaching the coop. I charge to the front to investigate. I’m top chicken. Somebody’s got to take charge.

Is she after us? What did she do with our normal caretaker? We don’t know you, strange person! Go away! Or let us out to graze!

What’s that? You’ve got corn? Wow! Food! Let’s eat!

She gets into the coop when I’m not looking, having cleverly distracted the lot of us with succulent corn kernels. Now what’s she up to? Bringing food? Bringing water? I scoot under her, between her legs, peck at her shoe. She don’t bother me. I’m top chicken. But I don’t notice when she’s crouching down. Right on top of me!

Charlotte!” she says. “Skedaddle! I nearly sat on your head!”

I don’t care. I stalk around to her front side and prepare to dismantle her plastic croc. There’s got to be something good in there. Oh look! Sausages!

Bah, sausages can’t hold my attention. That dolt Rosy might be interested, but not me! Stuff to do! Business to attend to! What’s that? An odd round orb? An… an egg? What is it?

Get away from that, Charlotte,” she says, rudely knocking me away from the mysterious orb. I scoot back, stretch my neck long to keep my body at a safe distance, and further examine this oddity.

Back, Charlotte!” she says again, swatting me away. I walk back.

Charlotte, go away!” She pushes me back, and I nearly lose my balance. Rude. Humans think they own everything.

Then I see she’s got Rosy in her clutches. Look at that! She’s holding Rosy down just for me so I can peck Rosy’s face while she’s immobilized! I strut over and prepare to strike.

Get, Charlotte!” The strange person pushes me away before I can attack. Foiled again. No matter, I’m top chicken. I strut back and examine Rosy’s face, searching for the tenderest patch for me to sink my beak into.

Get away, bird! I’m trying to look at Rosy!” Again, rudely shoved away. But I won’t be intimidated. I walk right back.

Charlotte…!” And again, she shoves me away before I can attack! I’ve had it. Bully human. Foiling my plans. I’m a busy bird. I’ve got stuff to do, things to investigate. You can’t treat me like that.

I strut over to the side of the strange person, in a place she’s not looking. She’s not paying attention to me. I muster my strength and land a sharp peck on her thigh.

Charlotte! What!”

Now I’ve got her attention. I look up indignantly and give her my best evil eye. “Buk!” My most indignant cluck. That’ll show her.

She releases that dork Rosy and all of a sudden catches me up instead. The nerve! The indignity! My feathers are being ruffled! Wait, she’s looking me in the eye. She’s holding me up to her face. This is all right, I guess. I am top chicken, after all.

So you wanted attention, did you?” she asks me, her giant nose inches from my beak.

Buk,” I say placidly, and tip my head at her. This is more like it. This is the attention I deserve. Of course, my elevation has nothing at all to do with my importance as top chicken. But I appreciate the gesture.

There. Now you’ve got it,” the strange person says. And then she tips me on my side! I’m unbalanced! My feet are sideways and so is my head! I start kicking.

Okay okay I’m putting you down,” she says. Soon as my feet touch the ground I spring up and strut away. We’re done here.


A Close Encounter with Writer’s Block

I used to believe that writer’s block doesn’t exist. Though I still feel that way, I’ve recently come closer than ever to experiencing it.

There are things that can make it well nigh impossible to express yourself, creatively or otherwise. Self doubt and rampant self criticism are two of these things. Dealing with these writing-killers is uncomfortable, but fully possible, as I learned in competitive Impromptu speaking.

When you’re waiting outside the closed door of a competition room, preparing to give a speech on an unknown topic with just two short minutes of prep time, you’ve got to will yourself into a good, productive mood. If you don’t, the two minutes of prep time will yield nothing of value, and when the speech begins and your innermost thoughts are laid bare, you’ll find you have nothing to give. Trust me—it is usually easier to give a bad speech than to will yourself into a better mood.

Using willpower isn’t easy, but it becomes easier with practice. It feels unnatural to force yourself to feel differently, but writers and speakers are actors, and this is what we do. It’s a necessary skill for anyone whose profession or hobby requires them to share their deep thoughts with others.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. Getting yourself in a positive and productive mood on short notice is worth it for writers, speakers, and everyone else.