One week ago I whipped up 15 hot pads, showing three varieties of roosters and two types of hens. Being a birder, I consulted a chicken-raising friend about the birds - wondering if they were accurate renditions of real birds, or simply the product of an artist's whim. My friend recognized two varieties - but wasn't sure about the others.
While selling my wares at a craft fair, I discovered quite a few people who had wonderful memories of having chickens in their childhood. The rock hens were familiar to a lot of people. One man picked out a hot pad with a rooster that he said looked just like his childhood pet. He related how that rooster would crow bright and early every morning! Happy as a kid in a candy store, he planned to send the hot pad to his sister for Christmas.
Following the craft fair, I took some hot pads to work to show some friends. Heck, if I didn't sell 6 more. Again, I learned of people who had had chickens in the past. One man noted a subtle difference in the posture of two roosters. He selected the bird that stood more erect - noting he looked "proud." This difference was lost on me until he pointed it out. Now there's a man who knows his birds!
The four pictured here are all I have left. I hope to find a home for them all. Who knows what other interesting tales I might discover in the process! :)