But after that last picture, you need something pretty to look at. Here’s a photo of the aforementioned Karma, as, according to Katherine “one of the lesser-known” of Santa’s reindeer.
This is actually more timely than you might think, as I just finished reading Canto XX of Dante’s Purgatorio where, of all people, Santa Claus showed up. Not as the fat man in a red suit, of course, but in his streetclothes, as St. Nicholas, the fourth century Bishop of Myra in Lycia. As the story goes, St. Nicholas had a poverty-stricken neighbor whose three daughters were destined for a tawdry life on the streets. Nicholas secretly threw bags of gold in the neighbor’s window at night (thus the tradition of gifts coming down the chimney and stockings being stuffed on Christmas Eve) so that the daughters could avoid shame and afford to marry respectably.
Nicholas was evoked in Purgatory as an example of generosity as Dante and Virgil traverse Cornice V of Mt. Purgatory, where the souls of the covetous work out their penance. He has absolutely nothing to do with chickens, however, but neither did the last photo I posted here. Angie was the only brave soul to offer a guess on the identity of the two creepy winged creatures in that picture. No, they aren’t baby bats, but that was my first guess, too. They are baby buzzards. I hope to never, ever see one in real life!
A slight disappointment on the chicken front. I’ve heard from multiple sources that chickens love table scraps, particularly fruits and vegetables, and most particularly, watermelon. We saved some watermelon and green beans from Sunday supper and I presented it to the girls on Monday morning. They stared at it and discussed it among themselves, then walked away from it and studiously avoided the area until the CE cleaned it up.
I guess next time we’ll try foie gras…