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Rethinking the Concept of “Being Chicken”

Consider the lovely South African guinea hen. Here’s a bird that’s actually used as a “watchdog” on farms.

Not that she’s fierce. Instead she has a lot to say. She’s so attentive and ready to give voice that she can alert a farmer to any little disruption in the night. And warn off an intruder.

Why does this come to mind? My office partner and pal Carrie Knowles made this watercolor monoprint a few months ago while working at The Artists’ Press in Mpumalanga, South Africa. (She was in the country advising on strategies for supporting local artists and developing the economic impact of the arts.)

This print is one piece in a show Carrie has just hung at Raleigh restaurant Zely & Ritz. You’re invited to the opening on Saturday January 30, from 4 to 6, should you happen to be in this part of the US at that time. Or for more info on Carrie’s work, guinea hens or otherwise, she welcomes your questions at [email protected].

I intend to remember this bird, even after the print has moved on. If I ever have the self-defeating thought that I’m too chicken to do what I want, I’m going to remind myself that some chickens rule and they don’t have to become bears or lions to do it. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

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Categories: conquering fear, courage

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