Growling pains

Chicken is the new penguin

For a few years, Raphael was obsessed with penguins. I don’t know where this penguin deal came from, but for a while there, it was intense. There were days he wouldn’t answer, unless you addressed him as Penguin Martin. He signed his preschool papers “PM” for, of course, Penguin Martin. He told me, very seriously, many times, that he was MAD at God and was going to ASK HIM someday why he wasn’t born a penguin. He had a special penguin walk, and if you don’t think that’s too adorable for words, you haven’t seen a sleeping six year old boy stumble around the living room as a penguin, confused, trying to find the bathroom.

What was interesting about the penguin passion was that the movie “March of the Penguins” came out right at the zenith of it all. Remember that? And then the whole world was penguin mad. It’s as though Raphael had his finger on the pulse of that trend long before…well, before I noticed it, anyhow. Perhaps not all that amazing. Nonetheless.

He has since moved on from penguins – they’ll always be dear to him, and when he sees a picture of one, he sighs a happy, “Oh, it’s a penguino,” and no, I don’t know why the Spanish – but he has a new passion in life.


OH, the chickens.

Chicken noises, chicken pictures, long and detailed chicken stories. We start our homeschool days with ten minutes of writing time, and Raphael has been churning out the tales of chicken adventures like you wouldn’t believe. He refuses to believe me when I tell him that chickens do not, in fact, fart. Such is the power of the fiction writer.

At Monday school, his language arts teacher has forbidden him to write about chickens anymore. His art teacher has forbidden him to draw any more chickens. To me, this is the obvious advantage of Monday school. I, personally, am not going to stand between him and his chicken love. Fly your funky fowl flag, my son! But the truth is that YES, he does need to start learning how to set aside his obsessions and play by the rules when needed, otherwise he is going to get fired from his first real job when he turns in an important report to his boss, and the last seven pages of it are about the perfection of his girlfriend’s boobs.

So this weekend I was listening to the radio, and I heard two things that stuck with me. First of all, the theme of this weekend’s This American Life was “Poultry Slam” – with three of the four stories being about chickens. And I heard a few minutes of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony for this year, and do you KNOW what the theme was? Can you guess?


The chickens, they are hot.

But, then, Raphael already knew. Take a look at the turtle he drew at Monday school. Isn’t that nice?


Look closer.




Oh yes, Raphael already knew.



I just have to ask...how do you KNOW chickens don't fart?
"Fly your funky fowl flag, my son!" made my day, and it's only 9:30.

H West

Oh my gosh this is hilarious. It's like he's getting sweet revenge on his chicken fearing little teachers. 'It feels nice to be true' I guess. Wondering what he'll come up with next. . .


I'm with Liz...just how do you know that chickens don't fart? Have you spent that much time around them? Everyone in the Burp Club knows that they do.

And, let me know if Raphi ever feels any affinities toward certain vintage items that might become valuable collectibles. Or maybe stock broker is in his future. Either that, or head of Pixar.

Emily R

I cannot believe he found a way to get a chicken into his turtle!

The One True Josh

Well, I've never been one to stand in the way of a good obsession:

ps: My current favorite fact about chickens: no teething.


This is so funny, because Cory was teaching a Sunday School class full of 7-year-olds recently and one of the girls was obsessed with chickens. He said she went on and on and on about them, and when he tried to teach that you can learn anything you need to from the scriptures she asked, "do the scriptures teach about chickens?" Luckily he found Matthew 23:37 "...as a hen gathereth her chickens...." The young child was impressed, so the next one perked up and asked, "Hey, does the Bible say anything about UNICORNS??" Not all lessons are a success.


That is HILARIOUS! my now 13 year old son was obsessed with hawks and eagles for years, then parrots. He had an imaginary hawk (named Hawk) which perched at the end of his bed at night and flew beside the car when we took trips. I took him to the local Harley dealer for his fourth birthday and bought him a black t-shirt with a big bald eagle on it. He wore it till he was eight. Hey! Maybe you could buy your son a baby chick to raise!

You probably wouldn't buy him this t-shirt, but it's currently my favorite and I've asked for it for Christmas:

I'm so gladd I found your site (thanks to Mir at workitmom)!


Wait wait wait wait wait. I know he's drawing the turtle because he can't draw chickens. But are turtles the next big thing? H West, take note. :)


I love that he got the word Chicken in but he couldn't fit the turtle's head in!

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