Ex Libris Kirkland

Buy it from Amazon

First Written 1976
Genre Childrens
Origin US
Publisher HarperOne
ISBN-10 0060574607
ISBN-13 978-0060574604
My Copy ex-library, 'bound-to-stay' copy
First Read April 03, 2005

The Book of the Dun Cow

I am so in love with The Book of the Dun Cow. It is a revelation, a gift, every time I read it. It is shocking, thrilling, heartrending -- especially heartrending -- and seems deeply wise. Yes, it is about a rooster and his barnyard animals, but it is so much better than you think. You'll find it shelved in the childrens or young adult section, but that completely belies how good and how serious it is.

I especially love the setting of the rooster Chauntecleer's crows - his canonical crows that mark the day's passing for the animals. If you've ever had doubts about a church liturgy, read about Chauntecleer's crows.

Noted on May 30, 2010

The sixth crow came when the sun was going down ... it sounded something like a compliment; it came across the evening air and patted each one on the back, and it made each forehead cool as if with a breeze: "Good," it said. "Good and better than you did yesterday. Now, stop. Eat supper. And rest easy."

... But the seventh was the kindest crow of all. This was as quiet as nightfall. This crow was the night at peace upon her nest. This was settle, and rest, and "You are safe," and amen, and "Go, now, to sleep." For "Done," when it is well done, is a very good word.

When Chauntecleer crowed his canonical crows, the day wore the right kind of clothes; his Hens lived and scratched in peace, happy with what was, and unafraid of what was to be; even wrong things were made right, and the grey things were explained.

Quoted on May 30, 2010

"I would just as soon have gone a-mucking through this would of your unnoticed, untouched by--your--righteous--hand. Then I may have been empty, but not bereft; I didn't know what blessing you had it in you to offer. Then I may have been alone, but not lonely; I didn't know what love you could ordain. You, God! You took me out of my life! You set met into this false place. You made me believe in you. You gave me hope! O my God, you taught me to hope! And then you killed me. . . . If I never had sons, how could I lose sons? If I had never ruled a land, how could I fear to lose the land? It is in the giving that treachery begins."

Quoted on May 30, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
Interested in talking about it?
Get in touch. You might also want to check out my other projects or say hello on twitter.