RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Saturday, August 7

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - June '10 #9: "Wildwood Flower 11" by David Grisman & Tony Rice

My chicken flock has changed drastically recently, after the new dogs ate up a few of them. I had an americauna rooster, australorp hen, buff orpington hen, and simple assed RIR hen left, so found a lady on craigslist that sold me alleged hens at $5 a pop, that were a few weeks away from laying. I got 3 white leghorns, 3 RIRs, and a buff orp for good measure, and rode to my mom's house from scenic shitty Cumberland County, Virginia, to chat up my mom, commiserate on our miserable mentality in this crooked ass world, and then ride home, putting the crate with the new hens on the freezer for the night with a dropcloth on top to keep the dogs from attacking them. Next day, mixed them in the flock, and new flock and old flock did not mix, as usual. Not even three days later though, one of the white leghorns got dragged out the coop at night, dead, trail of feathers into the woods. I patched up any noticeable holes in the fence, and went about my life. Next morning, again, another of the brand new motherfuckin’ five dollar white leghorns was dragged out, in the smallest of possible openings, making me suspect a weasel.
So I did weasel research online (which is how I ended up suspecting a weasel in the first place) and MacGyver-rigged the most ridiculous weasel trap ever, which consisted of an old vegetable box from dumpster diving with the two open handle parts, flipped over, with a tent tie-down rigged to have like three raw chicken livers hanging down, with two set rat traps (the big motherfuckin’ mouse trap things that will break your finger if you are not careful) that had chicken livers on them fuckers too, all held down with cinderblocks, figuring a weasel could only get in there, and I shut up the coop as well.
Next morning nothing, so I dismantled the weasel trap in a pair of cut-off pajama bottoms that look like a pair of desert island jamz shorts or some shit, before I took a shower to go to work, so fresh and so clean clean. That night, I realized it much easier to just CLOSE THE FUCKING COOP UP than to rig this nonsense contraption back together. So I started that method, even though it meant walking outside after dark and then as early as possible the next morning.
A few days later, my australorp was dead in the corner of the coop when I opened it up. No wounds, but in retrospect I suspect she was pecked to death. My retrospection was helped by the fact the elder buff orp was dead in the pen like two days later in the same way. I blamed my rooster, who had become sort of an asshole, and once the dogs attacked him and tore off his tail feathers, he wasn’t as cool looking, so fuck him. I found some buff orpington and cochin mixes on craigslist, in Buckingham County, for $5 a piece (everything in C-ville is like $10 a piece, because C-ville is bullshit, basically a giant country club for liberal people who can afford to feel righteous about they selves), and went to the lady’s house and dug birds out of trees, and drove them home, and then caught the rooster and put him in a crate. Next day, I gave him water, but he must have kicked it over because when I came home, he was dead. So I threw him to the pigs. Except he made a sound when he landed. I couldn’t handle the possibility of him being alive, so I bolted the fuck out of there and let what happened happen. When I went back, it was feathers strewn about and two smiling pigs rolling in mud, which reads like a metaphor for something but I’m too uninterested to figure it out.
You see, now I have ten birds, one of which is adult and laying one egg every other day, if we are lucky. The other nine are supposed to all be hens, and five of them should start laying soon, although one of the RIRs shows rooster aggression and has questionable tail feathers, and another one also has questionable tail feathers. So we will see. The buff orp/cochin gang of four usually hides out in the house because they seem to be oppressed for having feathers on their feet. Lately though they made themselves a nice dirt bath in the far corner of the pen. There are tons of cherry tomato plants around their pen from the last two runs I had their fencing up for and they spat out old cherry tomato seeds I guess, or shat them out or something, and tons of those little things rot on the vine because I’m the only one who eats them, so I toss them back in the run for the little fuckers, and they all freak out, and sometimes my lone leghorn flies out the corner of the bird netting roof and I have to spend twenty minutes herding his little dumb ass back into the coop/run.
But anyways, my whole point is I found some chicken nerd magazine at the library’s free bin, and most of it was dumb shit that had nothing to do with fighting roosters or how Sweater McGuinness first bred his gamecock sweater breeds while working on a farm in North Carolina in the 1930s, and that’s the same breed that wins a majority of cockfights in both the Philippines and Mexico to this day. But there was an aside about putting a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the water buckets of your birds, to keep it from getting all filthy, and to be healthy for they ass too. So I started doing that. Guess what? No more scrubbing pesticide run-off scum from the sides of their waterer when I have to refill it. Plus, they drink twice as much water because the apple cider touch is dope to them. I feel my flock, although not yet laying eggs, will be better than ever by the end of the month, and I fully expect seven or eight eggs a day.
Also, from researching Sweater McGuinness, I think I will utilize his breeding method with some chickens this winter with our two thousand pound chicken tractor that never gets moved. I’m gonna let some hens get broody and we’ll see what happens.
All of this has nothing to do with a song at all, of course, because my blog is all about nothing, except whatever. But this song is a different version of the one that Jesco White tells Wally to play, “With flair!” as he tap dances on plywood beside railroad tracks in that documentary you should already know about. It is a conflict in my life because I write words for plywood tapdancers alongside railroad tracks, but those people don’t read. So instead I write my dumb shit for computer people or the educated types who come from twisted angles, and it’s enjoyable enough I guess. But that ain’t my bloodstream. This is the conflict of my life. I could write 20,000 words a night, with flair, but I get caught up in the fact that who I’d be writing wouldn’t be who would read it, and ultimately I’d turn into a paperback version of those hillbilly teeth you get in gumball machines at the grocery store.
Oh well.
STEAL "Wildwood Flower 11"
: It’s like my mama said, you only live ‘til you’re dead!

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