January 30, 2014
Once Upon a Flock--a Review
by Lauren Scheuer
Okay, the current chicken-raising craze baffles me, I must admit. Although I was raised in a rural Indiana town, surrounded by cows and corn fields, I have never been a farm girl, not least because I have varying degrees of allergy to nearly every land-dwelling creature. However, I have many friends who are animal lovers and small-scale farmers, and I completely understand and respect the attention they lavish on their livestock. I have a more difficult time comprehending the people who decide to raise chickens in backyard suburbia. And yet, the moment I spotted this wonderfully-illustrated book in the library, I knew somehow that I had to read it, and I devoured it without pause in one sitting. Though I have not achieved Lauren Scheuer's degree of success, I am a fellow blogger, and I really enjoy the brief, pithy tableaux that characterize our infant genre. It is a writing style that Scheuer has certainly mastered.
Once Upon a Flock follows the author's journey with her unusual pets from fluffy, down-laden chicks through the trials of motherhood and chronic illness. (Who knew chickens could develop such diseases?) It definitely isn't all smooth sailing in the coop, but there is delightful humor to ease the dilemmas, and Scheuer managed to make me genuinely care about a group of squawking chickens. When I think of chickens, I normally think of crap everywhere, dust flying up that could be fatal to my lungs, and invasions of the damn mites with which most birds are replete. I couldn't believe a writer inspired me to emotionally invest in a flock of them, but she did it with ease, and I enjoyed this read very much. I can recommend it to readers of all kinds.