Top photo by Tamara Staples: My hen named after Susan Orlean
Bottom photo: Susan Orlean and me.
THE IT BIRD by Susan Orlean
"If I had never seen Janet Bonney reënact the mouth-to-beak resuscitation of her hen Number Seven, who had been frozen solid in a nor’easter, then was thawed and nursed back to life—being hand-fed and massaged as she watched doctor shows on TV—I might never have become a chicken person. But a few years ago I happened to watch a documentary called “The Natural History of the Chicken,” which opens with the story of Bonney and Number Seven, and for the first time the thought of owning chickens entered my mind. I had watched the film with no preëxisting chicken condition."