The Chicken Diva of Dunnellon

Last weekend my husband Rob and I went to visit the Chicken Diva in Dunnellon, Florida. This is my friend Elisa, collecting fresh eggs! Visiting these friends is like staying at a B&B, with lovely accommodations.
Elisa and her husband Dario have a mini-farm complete with 5 dogs, a few rabbits, 2 roosters, and several hens. Oh, and Dario is a chef! He prepared gnocchi with a red sauce and sausages–it was fabulous! I got to help the chef; I riced the potatoes and added flour as needed.
It was interesting to watch the older rooster, Norton, run the female population around. Stellino, the younger cock of the roost, was gentle and reserved. This was unusual for a rooster.
Stellino had tried to mate with Mimi, Elisa’s free range hen and kept falling off! So, Mimi would run away from him “She doesn’t think he knows what he’s doing”, Elisa confided.
After we returned home Sunday afternoon, I called the “farm” and wanted to thank our hosts again. I was saddened by the news that Stellino had just leapt up and keeled over, dead. Perhaps the reason he was so “tender hearted” was that he had a tender (bad) heart. We’ll never know.
Here is a poem for Stellino:

Ode to Stellino

You were gentle
Crowing quieter than
King Norton who strutted
Cocky testosterone-filled
He a ladies man
You shy, untried

Rest well feathered friend
One remembers you
Who held you when
You were small
You took a peck
Of her heart
With you

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