Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Lesson of Orphan Island
No functrional culture of humans or chickens is based only on uneducated natural instinct. Culture has to be carefully taught. Preferablly by family.
Just imagine what it must have been like on Big Orphan Island in Lake Bonaparte in the mid nineteenth century when an absentee developer Richard Orphington living in Philadelphia, legally *adopted" an entire Irish orphanage, minus the staff and infrastructre, met them at Ellis Island and transported them by train to Natural Bridge and Lake Bonapaerte, planning that the orphans would themselves clear the land, build shelter, grow potatoes, and sustain themselves to the point of real productivity, which by his calculaltions, and according to his need, should have happened within five or six years.
Needless to say, Big Orphan (formerly Bear Head) island a was less fit for agriculture than lreland had ever been; beavers ate what few potatoes were raised, and when winter came
the children were living in something which looked like a blowdown more than like anything as sophisticated even as a beaver lodge, or as sheltering as the porcupine cave they had to back into to keep out of the wind. That winter the orphaans ate the lone porcupine, fought over the tail, and stewed the quills, gnawed bark.
It was a real sad chapter and also needless to say, before a full year was up, children were eating children, and by the third year, only the monster children remained and they were doomed. About the only right thing in the whole brief history of the Orphan Island Experiment, is what the last of the orphan Cannibals did to the developer
But it is a too familiar story, and may be better forgotten. Anyway, we don't need to get into that watery horror here. The Lake is haunted enough as it is.
Moving on....the point is that what these orphans needed, besides food, shelter, and the caring which they did not receive.....was to be shown the way to work and cooperate; the way to survive, the way to be.
If you know about that awful era on Big Orphan Island, you can imagine Davey's experiment here in raising motherless chicks.
We have here a chicken culture without a chicken cultural past: no chicken elders, no role modlels other than dogs. When Davey isn't inside pretending to write a novel while he checks out Youtube, he is always pushing a wheel barrow to move shit and holes. Chickens do not connect with this behavior. They scatch up his dirt and perch on the barrow, but you never see a chicken try to push a wheel barrow, and it is a good thing. And there is me to model after , yes, but I don't pretend to be a chicken.
For the sake of the chickens, I pretend to be a lynx. A lynx who has adopted them.
I could never be a chicken, especially a mother. I just don't want to be, and so don't a lot of hens, that don't go broody. What a job! At the startout level you have to sit on eggs all but half an hour a day, all the time keeping your own temperature up to a hundred and nineteen degrees to incubate the things. And when they hatch out, they are all over you like a plague.