January Hedge a gram
Several years ago, I
needed chicken models for one of my books. The day old chicks I brought home
from the feed store soon became beloved pets. They were happy to pose for me on
my art desk. They amused me, and I amused them. They lay eggs and talk to me in
their language. So far I can understand when they say, "I laid an
egg.", "How dare you!", "Danger!", "Wow, here's a
yummy treat.", and "Everything is right with the world." After
all this fun with the hens, I received another little present, a new book idea,
Daisy Comes Home. I
went to China with my daughter in law, Yun Li to do the research for the new
book. The book, Daisy Comes Home is like a postcard album of my and Yun's trip
to Guilin. I hope when children see the tame cormorant birds that fish with
their masters, the mischievous monkeys, and the yellow water cow, they will want
to go to China someday to see them.
I'm eager to see how long it takes for readers to see
the animals hidden in the folds of the mountains. You can find the twelve
animals in the Chinese Zodiac.
Each painting is signed with a seal that says, "Jan" in Chinese
characters. It is the most beautiful color red, and it was carved for me in
stone when I visited Guilin. Mysteriously, the top part looks like chicken foot
Daisy Comes Home is about standing up for yourself when
looked at from the hen's point of view, and about loyalty when told from the
little girl, Mei-Mei's perspective.
I hope my new book reflects the feelings of discovery and affection I felt
toward Chinese culture too!
Bye for now, Happy New Year!