Chickens, Hawks and Grumpy Goats by S.A. Molteni is a short book of short stories and essays based upon real life experiences on a hobby farm in Florida that the author shares with her spouse.
A delightful collection of tales, some from the point of view of the animals, that highlight the ups and downs of living on a hobby farm, this book could be three times longer and I’d still enjoy reading it. In fact, I think I’d like it even more if it was longer, because the stories are so well written and entertaining. The story of the aftermath of Chicken Little’s ‘sky is falling,’ episode, “Chicken Little in Therapy,” was my favorite. The opening story, ‘Surviving the Winter,’ had me fooled until the mid-point, when I realized that it was being told from the point of view of a Chicken Hawk, and even though it had a sad ending, I found myself chuckling wryly at parts. Others are nonfiction accounts of events that significantly affected the author, and she gets that impact across in her prose with great effect.
Molteni is a master story teller who conveys a sense of reality in her stories, even when the main character is an animal. After reading this book, you’ll find yourself wondering if maybe it wouldn’t be nice to have a little piece of the countryside to call your own – until you read the bonus story at the end, and realize that life in the country is not all bucolic scenery and laughs.
Kudos to the author for a fun read and four stars.