|Photo of baby bantam citron-spangled hamburg chicks
by Ryan Zierke under a Creative Commons license at Wikipedia.
Everybody (most everybody?) knows about Flannery O' Connor and chickens. And if you have read this blog for a very long time, you may remember that I have a chicken pact going with novelist Howard Bahr. But do you know about L. Frank Baum and chickens?
According to the spottily-all-knowing Wikipedia, Baum started a monthly journal in 1880 devoted to the subject of hamburg chickens (this is not a contradiction between types of meat but a single type.) He loved his adorable hamburgs so much that he wrote an entire book on the subject, appropriately named . . . The Book of the Hamburgs! Okay, okay, it also had a fancy sub-title: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs. These days Baum would over the moon somewhere in Oz to know that there are more Hamburgs that ever--silver-spangled, gold-spangled, golden-penciled, silver-penciled, white or black (so ordinary! I want magic pencils! and spangles!) and even a new citron-spangled bantam. A citron-spangled bantam: doesn't that sound impossible and cunning?
Why was I looking at these diminutive spangled and penciled chickens with their "rose combs" and "slender legs," as Wiki would have it? Well, it does have something to do with Howard Bahr, The Great Chicken Pact, and A Death at The White Camellia Orphanage. That much I may reveal. For more, you'll just have to wait till the book comes out in 2012.
THE OZ CHICKEN QUIZ
(No, no, no CHEATING at all!
Making up is, of course, dandy.)
1. What is the name of Dorothy Gale's chicken?
2. In what Oz book does she appear?
3. What is her name?
4. How does she resemble a Hamburg?