Sunday, February 1, 2015


   For the past couple of months, Carl and I have been attending story time for kids Carl's age at our local library. Hillsboro doesn't have a whole lot of variety (not even a Chick-fil-A or a Target!) but thank the Heavens above, it does come equipped with a library! Nothing beats the smell of old binding, the lullaby of pages softly turning and the familiar comfort that engulfs your soul as you walk into a room that is floor to ceiling with books. (I would have stayed with the Beast too in Beauty and the Beast if he would have had that library!)
  Anyhoo, the downstairs of the Hillsboro library is dedicated to children with their shrieks of laughter (and anger) and the noisy symphony that accompanies the music box and half a dozen toddlers. This place has been great for Carl and I; we are meeting new people, enjoying new activities and we have a consistent accessibility to new reading materials. No more wondering when we are getting to the library and renewing books over the internet, nope, it's a pretty safe bet we'll be most every week with our book bag of new and read books.
  Carl loves books! If he inherits anything from me, I hope it's the love of books. He can sit for a long time just happily flipping through the pages. Not a day goes by that we don't read several books. It didn't take long for me to become tired of reading the ones we have here at home, though I'm waiting for the day when Carl knows them by heart and tells me when I skip a page or even a word, and so I'm loving the constant interchange of new reading materials.
  After story time, I usually follow Carl throughout the stacks and grab an armful of books here and there. He has gotten to love sitting at the small table by the checkout counter that is loaded down with fun puzzles while I hand over my library card.
  This particular week, without even looking at the cover of the book in my arms, we stumbled across this tale, Chanticleer and the Fox, which was adopted from The Canterbury Tales. Although it was originally a work by Geoffrey Chaucer (all hail the King of literary genius!), as I read the words to our dear boy who can't quite grasp the lesson of the tale, it reminded me of something we would find in Aesop's Fables. It also reminded of the 1991 movie, Rock-A-Doodle and the Elvis-like main character, "Chantecler".
  Do you know that "Chantecler" is not just a name dreamt up by old man with a quill pen or an Elvis impersonating bird? Nope, there really IS a Chantecler chicken breed. The Chantecler originates from the Quebec Province of Canada, which up until the birth of the breed, Canada did not have any chickens to say they hailed from their country. In deciding the traits of the Chantecler breed, the bird had to be able to tolerate the cold winters. The Chantecler chicken for this reason, has nearly no wattles at all and a very small comb, making it harder for the bird to get frostbite. Other characteristics of the breed include a gentle nature and it makes a good meat bird, no matter the chicken's age. (They are also known for egg production.)
  The name "Chantecler" means 'to sing' ("Chanter") and 'bright' ("clair"). Perhaps this is why a Chantecler became the main character to don the Elvis hairdo and rock out in a children's movie!
  The story of Chanticleer and the Fox is a little lengthy, but good medieval children's literature that I was happy to fall upon. After all, we usually do seem to grab the books with the farm animals on the cover!

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