Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clarabelle May - The Paragon—Pariah of Fallow Field Farm

image by micromoth
Have you ever heard the verse, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)?  My friend, Beth LaBuff wrote a clever poem that illustrates this truth in a way that made me smile. Of course, it involves a chicken, so why wouldn't it make me smile...or crack up!

Beth took 1st place in the Masters division of the FaithWriters challenge with this poem.  You can check out more of her writing FaithWriters page.

The Ode and the Epitaph
The Paragon—Pariah of Fallow Field Farm

-The Ode-

Per legend—it happened this way—

A thunderbolt split the third watch of the night
And illumined the ramshackle shed
That sheltered the poultry of Fallow Field Farm
And it sizzled a Rhode Island Red—

The hen—Clarabelle May

It tousled her feathers and tangled her comb,
Set a-tingling her wattle and beak.
When egg-time approached, she mounted her nest—
Laid an egg with a rainbow-hued streak!

Her fame –hatched on that day

The Fallow Field folk were agog o’er her egg,
Then the news spread to peeps all around.
For Clarabelle May and her rainbow-hued egg—
The hen was the squawk of the town.

The egg—enshrined and displayed

The next day, a repeat, her beak was a-tingle,
She climbed up, then settled her frame.
The egg that she laid sported calico print
And propelled the chicken to fame.

Those eggs—too prized for soufflés

The fame went to Clarabelle May’s chicken brain;
It inflated her self-worth and pride,
Then posies and straw raised her nest way up high,
Thereby flaunting her craft countrywide.

Her nest—festooned with bouquets

Then subsequent days found a paisley-swirled egg,
Ceremoniously placed on the pile,
Next patterns with gingham, then aubergine dots,
And magenta with fuchsia argyle.

Those eggs—never hatched, by the way

Her nest ever higher, she peered down her beak;
Her gizzard was bloated with pride.
The common folk gawked at the velvet-lined box,
Where the bonny eggs moldered inside.

The eggs—commenced to decay

Then attached to her shoulder—a sash that declared,
“The Paragon—Fallow Field Farm”
She added bright streamers and straw to her nest—
Now the nest reached the height of the barn.

At the summit—Clarabelle May

And then, just like that, the tingle was gone.
Then her beak shifted into a frown.
The egg that she laid had no pattern or bling—
Just a plain chicken egg, colored brown.

Her nest—started to sway

One by one all the folk turned their backs on the hen.
Poor Clarabelle May lost her charm.
When something goes up, it is often brought low—
The Pariah of Fallow Field Farm.

In infamy—concluded her day

Now those glorious eggs in that velvet-lined box—
The “R” word was bandied about,
Along with a phrase—“there’s something — in Denmark,”
Her fair-weather friends shouted out.

A shovel—conscripted that day

-The Epitaph-

Astonishing shells of Clarabell’s eggs—
This monument decries the spot—
They’re buried beneath the Fallow Field sod
‘Cause inside they’d started to rot.


  1. This poem made me giggle.

  2. On behalf of Clarabelle May and myself, thank you, Jan, for allowing Clarabelle's story on your blog. <3

    1. Well, we're honored to have you and Clarabelle May here on Chicken Doodle Soup. We chicks gotta stick together, you know. :)