In Purgatory.

I cannot seem to get through Dante’s Purgatorio. Seven more Cantos loom, not to mention the queue of books I had planned to read by end of summer. Time does not simply fly, it whooshes past. What’s the hurry, I wonder?

As Dante enters Purgatory, his forehead is emblazoned with seven”P’s” (penance? punishment?), one for each of the roots of sinfulness. I’m sorry to say that the chickens have proved themselves almost wholly human in this regard:

Love Defective: they only love me for the treats I bring. If I don’t come bearing mealworms, they have been known to  ignore me altogether.

Lily at 3 months: a meal worm snob

Covetousness: if one of the girls has a mealworm in her mouth, pandemonium ensues. The rest will chase her and steal it from her, even if there are other mealworms to be handed out. Doesn’t that remind you of human nature? I think this encompasses Envy, as well.

Gluttony: Well, have you looked at Amelia lately? Geesh. You should have seen her when we poured a bucket of grass clippings into the pen this morning!

Amelia at 3 months: she hasn't missed too many meals

Amelia at 3 months: she hasn’t missed too many meals

We haven’t seen too much Wrath, thankfully, and, given the relative peace due to not having a rooster, Lust is not an issue. All in all, they’re good girls, just not perfect. Kind of like the rest of us.

Autumn at 3 months.

Autumn at 3 months.

As Dante wends his way up Mt. Purgatory, he encounters various angels, among them the Angels of Humility, Meekness and Temperance. Each of them brush one of the “P’s” from Dante’s forehead signaling his freedom to move to the next cornice of the mountain and, presumably, his having learned a thing or two about the consequences of sin while he was there.

Dante and Virgil encounter an angel at the gate of Purgatory (from

Dante and Virgil encounter an angel at the gate of Purgatory (from

Dante was lucky there was no one but Virgil along for the ride so he didn’t have to explain the graffiti on his forehead.  I had a recent visit with the Angel of Dermatology, who came at me with his can of face-freezing penance, leaving me with a half-dozen nasty splotches on my face and a lecture about the consequences of sun exposure in youth. I guess it’s never too late – WEAR SUNSCREEN!

Hope at 3 months, not wearing sunscreen

Hope at 3 months, not wearing sunscreen

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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