Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Scratchin in the Dirt" a new gossip column by Mavis Mud

"Well, the job seems to have fallen to me (since the unfortunate demise of our dear Fiona Goosefeathers, may she rest in peace), to take over the job of Gossip Columnist for the Gazette. But, I always knew I could dish dirt with the best of em!

   Allow me to introduce myself- Mavis Mudd- mother of 3 sets of triplets, a dozen sets of twins and 21 little runts. I have, of late, taken on the role of foster mother as well. Also, I am the widow of the late and dearly beloved, "Mister Red Rooster" ( beloved by at least 7 others, besides myself, and those are just the ones I know about!) 

 What I DO know is this: at his funeral- at which he was conspicuous by his absence, seeing as how he was carried off by a devious fox,put into a pot and turned into Chicken Fricassee!

Oh, the very thought of Fricassee sends prickles up and down my back feathers! All that was left to bury was a downy red feather. Upon his gravestone were the words:
"Here lie the remains of Mister Red Rooster,
Otherwise known as 'Lover Boy'
He was
The best of the best, 
A Cockadoodledoo above all the rest!" ),

But as I was saying, at his funeral there was nary a dry eye in the barn. Fat little hens came from far and wide to blow into their hankies and share anecdotes about MY husband! Including that little tart, Miss Mulberry, who struts around here like a Peacock! She is such a hussy. Which brings me to today's bit of mud.... the Peabody Boys.

As soon as the Mistress brought them home, I knew there would be trouble. There they stood in those flashy clothes...Did no one ever tell them that stripes and polka dots clash?
They pretended to be shy and bashful, but I knew that beneath those fancy clothes and finery there lurked hearts of ill-will. And it didn't take long to see it.

    First there was the mysterious case of the fuchia blossoms....WELL, not so mysterious to moi! I saw those sneaky buzzards  picking off the mistress's blooms one by one. I felt it my duty to tell her everything, but she just giggled and scolded them not to ever, ever do that again. Hah! If she was serious , she wouldn't let them lounge on the porch...
whenever they please...

and stare at their reflections in the window for hours and hours.
 Oh... they think they are soooo handsome. I will tell you what handsome is...

This is Handsome.
 Now, if we chicken folk set so much as one sharp toenail upon that porch, it is the broom-stick for us!
 And then there is the ridiculous little dance they do..
First. they spread their tail feathers,
                 Then, they shake and wiggle their bottoms with a flutter and a fluff,
they do the hokey, pokey and they turn themselves around,

three steps forward, two steps back.

I mean REALLY, how about a good old fashioned square dance? That is what we chickens like. And just who are they trying to impress anyway?
 These girls???

Well, I can tell you that my dearest friends and I have no interest, whatsoever in such self absorbed, vain, dandies.
So they can just sit in the trees,
In that self-important manner, and think about THAT!
That is, if they are not smack dab in the middle of the Mistress gardens, squashing her delicate forget me nots and snapping off the zinnia heads.... Hmmph!
And all the mistress says is. 'Oh, aren't they just lovely?'
It just goes to show, 
you can get away with anything...if you are beautiful."



  1. WAUW!!! you have the most beautiful handsome fellows of all! I love Peacocks very much...I wish I had one (or two) but I
    don't think my neighbors nearby, will love the loud sound they make ;o(

    The photo where the peacock is outside looking in, is absolutly gorgious!

  2. Ahhh, peacocks--makes me think of the good ol' days on the Ranch. Let Mavis know that chicken is not the only critter that can be fricasseed. We suspected the neighbors when some of those handsome peacocks went wandering and never returned! Beauty is as beauty does, 'nuff said.

  3. Perfect storytelling....Oh Miss Mavis dear, you sling the best mud!!!! WOOOO, those Peacocks are sassy and who do they think they are? I'm partial to poultry.....YOU ARE ALL A HOOT!! I just love it when you have a new post! Anita

  4. Also, GREAT PHOTOS! I love the back shot of that high and mighty peacock...did he see this photo of his back side? TEEEHEEE!!!

  5. Sorry to hear about your poor husband! The Peacocks do seem to be able to get away with a lot around there, it doesn't sound fair to the chickens at all :)

  6. How do you do, Miss Mavis Mud... So nice to meet you.. I love all you friends in blue.
    Wonderful storytelling and fantastic illustrations!
    The porch photo says it all. I love it.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

  7. Bird life, and all its merry happenings , cheers Marie

  8. But they are so very lovely!

  9. Deborah Rogers MercyAugust 25, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Jeri, Ms. Mavis will fill the shoes of her dear friend Fiona well. Glad to hear that all the critters are getting along so well. The photos are fantastic. These guys may show up in a future book if their antics keep all the others chattering and Ms. Mavis sharing their secrets. Thanks for the Manor updates. -Deborah

  10. your peacocks are gorgeous!! when we lived out in the country, our neighbors had peacocks and their sqwacking was soooo loud, similar to a cat scream...but as you say all is forgiven to those who are so beautiful. i love the shot of your bird admiring himself in the lacey window.

  11. Dear, dear Jeri,

    Thank you for coming to visit with me today; yes, isn't creating an important element for us? I think even self-proclaimed "uncreative" people HAVE TO create via some form of expression. We were made to work, play and imagine. As I perused your blog (I went onto your guestbook!!!! Is it free?) I realized and saw by your interests that you and I have much in common. I LOVE ANIMALS, especially goats, or hooved creatures, horses being my favorite in terms of beauty, models for illustration and geese? HEEE! The silliest creatures in the world. And you play the harp....so do I, but I broke a string and I am not able to play my Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring....I need to run out tomorrow and get my string! And, like the sweet Dutchess in the Netherlands, OUR IMAGINATIONS are easily illuminated by nature. What a joy to find you all in this world.

    Come by this weekend for a new post...I am always looking out for yours....Fondly, Anita

  12. Hi Jeri
    Thank you for coming over to visit Bebe! I am sorry you had trouble with your first message.. You know sometimes our comments just fly out into blogland somehwere, never to be seen again.. I have also had trouble lately leaving comments.
    Yes, she did take your advice and traveled to Yellowstone.. She had a grand time! A photo with a moose, that would have been great but she said she was afraid of the MOOSE!!

  13. Oh!!! And my girl is named, "Isabeau"...she is a Lyon and Healy lever harp and has a golden crown. Dearest, I am a self-taught harpist and I try to practice every day, but at my age, I am just lovin' hearing the gentle strings tug at my heart. Do you know that the bunnies outside sit outside the window and listen to me!!! I also put my neighbor's husband and dog to sleep one day during a mini concert at the house! HAAH! Oh, my sweet friend Penny at Angelsdoor said you might be a good help to me. I was asked to illustrate for a writer...but I don't know how to go about this....you are a professional while I am not...I just doodle but people like my doodles. I have no portfolio, but someone wants to know if I can submit my work along with their writing...I know I have to be cautious, but how does one go about this?

    When you have a moment....ONLY, if you have a moment....


    Much gratitude, Anita

  14. JERI!!! Oh, I just got home a while ago from the first day back in my classroom! I have to prepare for a new school year as an English teacher AND French teacher. I SOOOOOOO appreciate everything you shared with me; sweet Penny was right....you really do know what you are talking about. O.K. you are so right about copyright. I am green at this but I so love your idea about self-publishing. I think that is the route I want to pursue. I haven't heard from this woman again after I asked her to give me more information on herself...she has a lovely blog, but still, I just feel strange sending my work away before really knowing what it is about. THANK YOU and I need to go now, but I will research YOU more and look for your books. What great success you have had; your art and HEART is in the right place for being an established author and artist...I WANT TO BE THAT! Maybe one day....Merci bien, Anita

  15. I love Mavis's hat and shawl.

    Did you once do a fabric collection for Andover?

  16. Mavis sends well wishes to all who commented, she wants you to know, she will have a new column next week, regarding her role as a foster mother.
    Deborah, How nice that you visited!
    Valerie, yes, I did 2 lines of fabric with Andover, and one line with Northcott. I may do more, but it is a lot of work, and then, they rarely reprint!

  17. You have an adorable blog! I just want to squeeze it. Love the chicken in the bonnet. Love the artwork. New fan, look forward to paging through your entries.


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