Thank you for this it is allowing me to play with a setting for a piece I want to work on. This was fun!
The smell of manure, I still like it to this day. Cow manure has a sweetness that speaks to me and it’s probably because of this barn. This green barn with the orange roof doesn’t hold 100 cows or have machinery that will milk them. It is the barn of a man who works hard during the day and isn’t afraid to work hard at night and early in the morning too. He likes the idea of having food on the table that he grew.
To the right is the manure stall…all collected, piled high and raked in. To the left is the chicken pen with 99 white roosters clucking away behind the wooden barn slats. You might think that chickens were, in general, pretty tolerant of each other, but chickens are actually sexist. Who knew? In the middle of the barn off the concrete floor, with lots of hay tucked into an old wooden watering trough sits the queen of the barn, Henny Penny.
She was the lone female in a group of 99 males and they knew it. Once the white feathers came in and the yellow down was gone, the attacks were ruthless. One morning, when my father entered the barn there she lay on the cold, concrete floor away from the orange glow of the heat lamp, nowhere near the metal feeding tray. When my father picked her up, she was still warm and flexible, so while the swallows swooped in and out of the open top of the barn door and Trouble, the cat, wound his way through his feet, my father set up a special section for this half-dead chicken and I named her Henny Penny.