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A Rooster's Tale: A Year in the Life of a Clan of Chickens

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    United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/ 26 August 2013 A Rooster s Tale: A Year in the Life of a Clan of Chickens By Claudia Bruckert
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2013
      United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/
      26 August 2013

      A Rooster's Tale: A Year in the Life of a Clan of Chickens
      By Claudia Bruckert

      HenschelHAUS Publishing, 2013
      Available in English and German

      Review by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

      "Can chickens talk? What does a rooster do all day? Would a mother hen attack a
      hawk? What happens within a family of chickens?"

      These questions, posed by the author of A Rooster's Tale, are beautifully and
      tenderly answered by the young rooster, Change, who tells the story of his life,
      as he sits adorable and bright-eyed, perched on a fence, one year after he and
      his brothers and sisters hatched under their silvery-gray mother, Margarete, in
      a handsome two-story coop with full access to the outdoors, including the brook
      they wade in and the trees they sit in, once they're old enough.

      His story is a lyrical drama, full of color and sound, of voices and activities
      which place these vibrant chickens in a world of their own within the dynamic
      ecology of life surrounding them. Anyone who lives with chickens, as I do, knows
      how vocal chickens are. Roosters crow and hens cluck, but the vocabulary of
      chickens is much more varied. As Change explains, "Our chicken language is a
      wonderfully melodious and extensive one. You'll hear every sound from very
      gentle and lovely to unpleasantly piercing and harsh. Every tone has its
      distinct meaning. All emotions, their own pitch and volume. Every action, its
      very particular sound, its own tune." He reveals to us, by example and
      dramatization, how totally attuned chickens are "with sounds that guide us as
      reliably as our eyes and feet."

      Change's family not only live among trees; they have a family tree, with Mama
      and Papa, Uncle Fritz, brother Franziskus, sister Mirabelle, Aunt Leona, and the
      other clan members who share and contribute to the family history and personal
      biography of each bird. Since A Rooster's Tale is designed to entice and educate
      children and adults of our species, the chickens are humanized to the extent
      that Change uses verbal language to tell his story. But what distinguishes this
      book, in addition to the beautiful color photographs by the author that
      accompany the narrative, and the delightful illustrations, is that it portrays
      the actual behaviors, interests, and enthusiasms of chickens, through Change's
      vivid account.

      As well as the exuberantly happy adventures that fill A Rooster's Tale, there
      are occasional squabbles, trembling dangers, separations and strains of sadness.
      When they are 12 weeks old, seven of Change's brothers are abruptly sent away,
      one hopes harmlessly, "to the country where there were no angry neighbors to
      complain about our joyously loud trumpet calls." Change evokes the three mother
      hens' distress over this "sudden loss-hurt," and how, on that painful evening
      "our mothers spread their wings over the remaining chicks-unbeknownst to us, for
      the last time." This is gut-wrenching, but the mothers are weaning their
      youngsters, who, after 10 excruciating days, "realized we would never again sit
      under our mothers' wings."

      Thereafter, new adventures animate Change and his siblings, as they adjust to
      their new circumstances, and new places are discovered and excitedly explored.
      New experiences, Change tells us, include sunbathing with the dog (shown in a
      wonderful photograph) and the daily pleasures of being chickens that make "our
      hearts ring with joy" and "our life grow wings."

      A Rooster's Tale is rightly described as "A reading joy for children, adults,
      and everyone who takes animals seriously." Author Claudia Bruckert, born in
      Munich, Germany, lives in Northern California with her husband, 2 dogs and 20
      chickens. She clearly loves her chickens, intuits their feelings, and keenly
      observes them. It is lovely to share their story.
      - Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns

      United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
      the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
      Don't just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
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