Hopalong Hollow....

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Naming our pets

I've always  named all my animals, big and small.  It's important for everyone to have an identity, right? So, this year, when our duck population grew and grew because of an abundance of hens with  motherly urges tugging at their little tail feathers, I became a bit overwhelmed; SO many families, SO many identical twins and triplets, SO many pure white Pekins!  I became lean on creativity and  to keep up with everyone, resorted to using easy to remember, yet somewhat ghastly names such as:  Frick and Frack, Easy come and Easy Go, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.. Eeeny, Meeny, Miney and  MO. These names were  quite a shift from my other duck folk who were christened with great deliberation and according to personality. THEY have names like: Winston Churchill, Jangles, Mia Rose, Pitty-Pat, Trudy Webbytoes , Miss Merryweather, Penelope Anna Marie,  and General Patton..
Good Heavens, we have 3 duck families!
      In order to remember all the names of my chicken folk, I simply use the same names over and over again. I've had Conan the 1st, 2nd and 3rd and  Prudi the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. All the other characters from the old British TV series, "Poldark" have been used more than once, I assure you:  Demelza, Poldark, Verity, and Connie. Romeo, Mavis and Abe have been used countless times.

It's all becoming very confusing, but if I didn't give everyone a name,  I would feel so guilty! Is that silly? I am quite sure that when I see 5 pure white identical Pekin duckies hanging out together, I would not be able to tell Dominicus Pike from Sherlock... but No matter... it's better to call out a name than shouting out "HEY YOU, with the big orange feet, come over here!"

                    So why DO we name our animals? It's easy to see why we name intelligent animals such as dogs and cats and those larger members of the farm family.  It's pretty obvious that dogs recognize their own names, cats too.   But does a duck really come when you call it's name?  Well, maybe not,  but they certainly come a runn'in when I call "QUEEEEE! QUEEEEE! QUEEEEE! ( That means "corn" in duck-speak)  And when I call "GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRRRELS!, ALL my sheep, donkeys and goats come a runn'in. (translates: "corn, pears, carrots, watermelon,etc, etc, etc, to the four-legged barn -folk).   So WHY DO we names all our pets? I guess it just boils down to what I said in the beginning... everyone has a unique identity, even if they just waddle around on orange webby toes.
(The real Trudy Webbytoes, created in watercolor and gouache)


  1. You must write their names down somewhere in order to remember all those names--nevermind that you don't know who's who! I say, if it has a name, it's a pet--not dinner.

  2. I certainly understand what you are saying , some of our chickens have quite distinct names in accordance with who came when the population was smaller and the thought process of their naming was more personal . This year we had an explosion of baby chicks and I did find the names weren't quite as thought out or personal ~ I have yet to even name a few , but yes they are deserving and the names will come eventually.

  3. I find it quite endearing that you have taken time to give all your flock, big and small, personal names.. Even when some ended up with Frick and Frank, which makes my laugh... Afterall it's a name.. Like you said, better than calling out " HEY YOU...
    The last photo here... Love the expressions....It look as if Rosebud has a secret, Opal knows what it is and Beatrix could care less... Priceless!
    Enjoy your evening Jeri



    Miss Jeri Landers, a name is of UTMOST importance to any creature! We here at Rabbit Hill name all of the resident animal folk. We had this sweet little bird that came daily to the arbor and sang her heart out. Ignoramus ME from the city, thought this chanteuse was a nightingale.. I had named her FLORENCE (for obvious reasons) but when I learned she was indeed a WREN, I shortened her name to FLO. It flowed...teeeheee

    There have been countless NAMED rabbits, birds, squirrels (Ho Chunk, Timmy Tippy Turd - my husband's choice) and Bigwig rabbits, you name it, we've named it! tehehehehehee

    We name them because we love them and they are our companions! Oh Jeri, you are brilliant and take charge of God's great creatures. LOVE THIS! And your painting at the end....thank you for using your talents to the hilt. She is precious. (I love General Patton! teeeee)

  5. Jeri!!!!
    This post about names made my belly roll with joyous chuckles!! Heehee you are so cute!!
    "Frick and Frack.....Eeeny, Meeny... oh tee hee hee hee! Love it!
    We have one last Llama who was a most impolite fellow. A spitter, pushy and a down right stinker. His name was Cal shortened from Excalibur, and nobody really cared for him for he was so rude and pushy(and not even nice to his barn friends). But one day HubbyBear decided to try to change our attitudes and maybe his by giving him a new name!! He started calling him "Good Boy"! (with that Bart the Bear trainer voice) And you know what? The change was miraculous!! He became a good boy and sweet!!
    So there is something to names for sure and I believe that it connects us to that wonderful critter world that blesses us "critter lovers" with them!
    .....well either that our you are just plain NUTS like me who somehow managed to name my BEEZ.... oh dear I have named my beezz......
    Blessings love and joy joy joy!!! Linnie

  6. Oh and PS you pick the BEST names ever!!! :-D

  7. We name all our pets too, but I admit when we hit 24 chickens, the kids stopped at only naming their favorites. The rest were ladies in waiting. :)

  8. I've done the same thing with naming - re-using. When you have many chickens and ducks and geese, it is hard to name them all. I used to say don't give them a name, because they were our favorites and usually got eaten by coyotes or bobcats. But, sometimes I can't help it. I had a cocker spaniel named Peavine. A rooster called Valentino and a turkey with crooked toes, called Walks This Way and on and on. At this stage, I'd be lucky to remember them all.

  9. Oh my Jeri - what an awesome task to try to name each one. I would have long ago resorted to more simple names. At any rate you made me smile today. Hope you are smiling too...at least when you are calling the ducks!! Have a great week.

  10. What a sweet post! We can't help naming the critters that surround us. You have quite a large menagerie though, and so many look-alikes. :-)

    You are a dear kind soul Jeri and you bless many with your stories and your artwork.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  11. How lucky the critter is that finds his home in Hopalong Hollow! Your imagination abounds. ♥

  12. Jeri, It was Tom Ewel that played opposite MM in the movie.. I am so tickled that she gave you a smile... I always look forward to your visits.. I hope all is well with you.
    Have a great day!

  13. Our hens have always had names. The Barred Plymouth Rocks look pretty alike so I'm forced to spot their subtle differences and it helps me to monitor how they're feeling.

    The downside is when they pass on--we recently said RIP to Queen Mab, (this year's chicks got Shakespearean names commemorating the 450th anniversary of his birth) but at least we still have Fifi (Ophelia) and Bebe (Beatrice). Maybe the Bard and mortality go together and we should have chosen other names? Sigh.

  14. Love to hear how you picked out names!
    I use First Ladies names for my hens, Elenor, Martha, Mary, Hilary, etc.
    My late Rooster was Russell Crow!

  15. I can really relate. Each time I added a new pet to the family, I lost a lot of sleep trying to come up with the perfect name. Currently, it's Maddie Kate Scarlett O'Hara... Lady Isabelle Rosie Cotton... Abigail Annie Oakley.

    I also name all the critters that visit, namely the bunnies. "Diana Cottontail" is a regular visitor around here. I haven't come up with names for our hummingbird trio yet though.

  16. What a sweet post! My geese certainly do know their names, and so does our dove, Norton. It's quite amazing how many words they know....Since I only have 2 geese, maybe it was easier for them to remember their names-or maybe it was easier for ME to remember!
    I love how motherly Fionna is!

  17. Message for Dimity Doormouse... Would you like to come help with the harvesting? You may ride in my apron.
    Yours truly,
    Mrs. Miniver

  18. Just discovered your blog, Jeri. I have a lovely piece of artwork that was purchased in Abingdon, Va many years ago. I recently stopped at the craft store at the Cumberland Gap in Middlesboro, Ky and enjoyed looking at your amazingly illustrated books..wish I had purchased..anyway..it is so evident that you love what you do.

  19. Your encouraging words have touched my heart.. Thank you so much Jeri... I am so happy you enjoyed her..
    I hope you are doing well.. I really enjoy watching your videos in the mornings with my coffee.
    Take care,
    Love ya!


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