Piper is a Total Stalker!

For whatever reason, Piper loves nothing more than to follow me around the yard all day long. I have to be extra vigilant to not plow her over with my big hairless-ape feet. If I stop too quickly, she will often run right into my legs and fall backyards in a very cartoonish manner. Watching her little fuzzy legs feverishly trying to correct herself makes my heart swell and burst every time.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImxSs8q7ug&w=1280&h=720]

Does anyone else have chickens that do this? Is it a silkie thing? Or do I need to get a restraining order?[paypal_donation_button]

The Case of the Cursed Egg

Most mornings you’ll find me sleepy-eyed and confused wandering around my backyard in a robe. It’s like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sans medication time and a mean nurse Ratchet (my all time favorite book by the way, cheers Ken Kesey and all your Merry Pranksters).

My dog (and possibly my neighbors) observe this slow-moving and butt scratching beast with an apprehension usually reserved for a schizophrenic having a heated debate with a rusty tin can and a bit of used dental floss.

It takes a good hour before I “come alive” and when I do, I’m just grateful that I’m not standing on the roof of the house naked. Not a morning person.

Why all this colorful explanation regarding my morning routines? Because the other morning I witnessed something that instantly shook me out of my zombie mode just by the shear uncanniness of it. My Easter egger hen, Mia, had somehow laid a magical mini egg! “What the shit?” said I. “What manner of sorcery is this?”.

The Case of the Cursed Egg 02_barely a handful
The Case of the Cursed Egg 02b_camparative size to normal eggs
It won’t even fit on my super sweet egg skelter device 🙁

The Case of the Cursed Egg 02c_cock egg and quarter for scale

In order to facilitate yet another late day to work, I quickly went to the Interwebs to get to the bottom of this mystery. I am often easily distracted. Oh, what’s that?…

The good (and boring) news is that it’s a completely normal biological process that a chicken goes through when there’s some foreign material or reproductive tissue in the hens oviduct that triggers the formation of an egg around the material. The chicken body treats it like a yolk and it goes on down the production line like there’s no problem at all. the lack of a yolk produces a much smaller egg that usually has a much thicker shell. Yawn.

The Case of the Cursed Egg 03_hens reproductive system

So that’s the science behind this mystery. Also, a chicken vagina has finally graced the electric pages of Mind Your Dirt. Huzzah!

But when it comes to The Interwebs, one can never simply stop along the road of research just because an answer has been found. A good scientist tests and re-tests his/her hypothesis. With good ol’ fashioned folklore and tales of witchcraft!

In ancient folklore, an egg of this nature was called a Cock Egg. It was called such because it was believed to be laid by a rooster. A matter of great spiritual concern, especially if you brought it into the house. Which I had promptly done before doing my scientific research. If you do that, then you will suffer from bad luck, illness or much much worse!

I’m not too worried because they were highly valued by your local sorcerer for their use in magic spells and potions! I’ve always considered myself  a modern sorcerer so maybe it’s not all bad that I brought it inside.

However, there is another huge risk, according to legend. If a serpent or toad or witch breaks in and tries to incubate the egg (Which would be worth seeing, so I’ve been leaving the back door open all night), then the egg would either hatch into a Cockatrice…

The Case of the Cursed Egg 04_cockatrice

Or even worse, a Basilisk!

The Case of the Cursed Egg 04_basilisk

My regular readers know all about my constant Basilisk problems!! They really tear up my garden and constantly avoid my monster/demon traps! Really cuts into my trapping success ratio.

According to (my made up) legend, only a power weasel wearing a tutu made of juniper shrubs soaked in hobo tears has the power to ward off the evil Basilisk and Cockatrice! But none of my weasels will wear the silly things! Willful little beasts!

The Case of the Cursed Egg 06_Weasel vs basilisk
The timeless battle between fancy tutu weasel and dragon chicken

In the Middle Ages, what unexplained folklore would be complete without the aid of Satan himself. Old Scratch doesn’t just mess with people, but animals as well. A Cock Egg was a clear sign that The Fallen One has been snooping around the hen house.

Get this, in 1474 in Basel, Switzerland, a rooster went to trial for allegedly laying a Cock Egg. He couldn’t get decent representation and was found guilty of Satanic witchcraft and burned at the stake. Seriously. This happened.

The Case of the Cursed Egg 07_Rooster burned at the stake

“…the execution took place with as great a solemnity as would have be observed in consigning a heretic to the flames, and was witnessed by an immense crowd of townsmen and peasants.”

American author and educator, E.V. Walter in his essay – Nature On Trial – The Case Of A Rooster That Laid An Egg

Oh what a crazy bunch we humans are! But maybe this is where fried chicken comes from?!

Later in the Middle Ages the term Witch Egg emerges and much later in the Victorian Era, Fairy Egg. There are a few places in Scotland and parts of Europe that have used the term Wind Egg. Perhaps because a yolk-less egg  lacks substance. And lastly, leave it to we Americans to coin the term, ahem…Fart Egg. Stay classy America!

I will keep you posted on any evil hatchings or demonic possessions as they happen in real time via my YouTube channel. If I’m able to that is. If I begin writing blog posts like the following…

“We are Legion and We love organic produce…”

…call an old priest and a young priest on my behalf.

Until then be safe and always know where to find your local sorcerer!!

Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part II)

[part one]

After a harrowing and treacherous journey to Mexico City, I awoke in my hotel bed with ambitions to go right the hell back to sleep. No rest for the wicked however as this very well may be my only free day in Mexico City to explore and get my museums per diem worth out of this work trip. The fast and loose plan was to get my ass up to the top of a pyramid come hell or high water (both of those are shitty options though).

But my mind and body were weary from the two days journey previous so the first order of business was to track down a cup of mud. Which I did in short order and with several attempts at explaining what a hammerhead is to a Spanish speaking barista. Once that was “solved” and I got some watery gloopy caffeine drink stuffs, I began to actually look at where I was.

My hotel was direct next to the Plaza del la Constitución which is a massive square surrounded by unbelievably beautiful buildings. In the center of the square was one of the most impressively large flags I’ve ever seen. I took this short video to give you the scenery and sounds so that we are both on the same page. The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral provides the backdrop.

I kinda wish that video was a little longer, but you get the idea. It was at this moment when it all began to hit me. I was in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world.

With a new found energy, I rushed back to the hotel to meet my boss for a hugely sub-par complimentary breakfast. Hooray? We made a plan to contact the front desk and figure out the best way to get to Teotihuacan to see some pyramids. They saw us coming a mile away. Stupid gringos to be placed on a tour van for 10 hours and driven all over Mexico City visiting many glorious sights and even more glorious gift shops by a driver with greased palms and a sketchy motive. In hindsight, we should’ve just taken the bus. Continue reading “Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part II)”