Thursday, July 20, 2006


In January, 1907, this adorable picture of my mother and her pet rooster, Teddy, appeared in the “Boston Globe”, along with the following article:

“Roosters are not unknown as pets, but little Ruth P. of West Brattleboro, Vt., has an exceptional rooster, Teddy, in that he will allow her to do anything she may wish with him.

The way this little mistress manages her bird playfellow is extremely interesting. She never punishes him because he never needs a rebuke. She speaks to him in a quiet tone, but there is in her eyes a certain power of the will, a power which is rare in children, which forces him to submit to her kind, though sometimes odd, treatment.

In the morning he struts into the kitchen and with a jolly “crowing” he mounts the low table at Ruth’s command, steps into the washbowl and patiently submits to a sponging with soap and water. After shaking his feathers a bit he is dried off with a towel and then brushed until his coat shines bright and clean.

Then follows another of her favorite pastimes. She hitches Teddy to her small doll-cart and drives her noble steed by “gee” and “haw” out through the woodshed, down the front yard to the sidewalk for a jaunt… both child and bird with tiny white hoods crowning their heads.

Ruth has had this strange comrade for several years and has trained him entirely herself. Teddy shows a great fondness for his mistress and obeys her without the least hesitancy.”

My mother lived to the grand age of 92 and, as one of her five daughters, I can attest to the fact that she “trained” us pretty much in the same way that she did Teddy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ginnie, i gasped with delight when i saw this charming photo. of course i'm fond of chickens in art but this one, and its story, seems so full of its time. also, i have a vintage card with a rooster pulling a little cart. if i could just locate it again.

your earlier post on why you blog is an excellent introduction to elderblogging. thanks!

6:38 AM  
Blogger goldenlucyd said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Well, actually I guess I can. I think you're super, wonderful and marvelous. Certainly to be rated with the creme of elderblogdom. I'm so happy your joined our cozy club!
PS I'm terrified of birds (sorry Naomi) but that photo is drop-dead adorable.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well now if that don't beat all. A pet rooster...and wearing a bonnet no less. That was back in 1907 you say? Hmmm...can't remember when they first invented dogs and cats. Must have been just after that.

The only bonnet we put on our chickens down here in Arkansas is to smear a little "Blue Bonnet" on them just before we "shake 'um and we shake 'um and we throw 'um in the pan!" :) :)

Seriously Ginnie, that is absolutely a classic and great photo. I wonder if your mom's mother made the little bonnet or they bought it somewhere where they sold doll clothes?

11:24 AM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a great great story...Your mother must have been something else! I love that you still have this photograph..And that Rooster (Chicken??) looks soooo adorable in the bonnett...Your Mom is pretty cute, too!

11:25 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments....except for Alan! Bluebonnet indeed. I'm sure that Teddy came to an end one day but I doubt if they would have eaten him. (On second thougtht...these were very thrifty New Englanders, so maybe they did!)
I will try to include other photos like this in the future. They are in my album but with my daughter for now.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Pear tree cottage! said...

Ginnie, Hello thank you for your visit to my blog. :o)

Your mothers story is wonderful!! and how cute does she look dressing the rooster.

In Aussie we call Roosters and chickens chooks! so I had a real chuckle about your great post.

Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Your blog is lovely and I will be back.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photo. I like to publish a picture from the old family album now and again. Let's have some more please.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Yes, John, I will publish more in the future...when I get my albums back. I'm glad you enjoy them.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This makes me smile! Thanks for sharing it.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really sweet photo. And wow...your mom sure did have great longevity! That's because she obviously loved animals. (smile)

2:25 PM  

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