The Personality Series: Augie March - King of Doodles
Augie was such a little guy. I named him Augie because that was the name that rolled off my tongue one day as I was chatting with him. I later found that the name is included in the title of a novel by Saul Bellow: The Adventures of Augie March, and that is where it came creeping from--the depths of my subconscious mind. (He liked to repeat a soft chirping that sounded to me like, "Little-duck, little-duck, little-little, duck-duck!) We would go on and on like this, interacting, as I kept him warm. I devoted the first few months of his life caring for him as best I could, trying to imitate many of the behaviors a mother duck would in order to keep him healthy. He slept next to me on a heating pad, beneath a blanket and if he woke during the night I would find out if he was hungry if he nibbled at my fingers gently. For a while it was like having a newborn baby, minus the shrill screams, of course.
In March 2010, around his first birthday, he was asked by a local artist to participate in a gallery show, Happiness and Torture, part of an exhibit called MONTH, held here in Spokane at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery. Along with Ming, Clyde, and Lucy, Augie wandered about the gallery squirting duck doo here and there as a torture scene ensued. It was interesting to see the juxtaposition between the tension created by the torture scene and the glee in the faces of gallery goers as they mused at the flock. The idea, said Bruce Hormann, one of the artists, was to create an ethical dilemma. At the end of the month the MONTH project came to an end with a final party. Augie attended the party without any other flock members. He delighted people, as usual, and caused trouble by knocking down their piles of carefully placed pink rocks. (Augie doesn't tend to chase me or pinch when we're out and about.) Eventually, he became tired and slept in the middle of the gallery floor, standing on one leg, one eye open just a crack.
Augie (far right) at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery
Augie visits with Jamie at the MONTH finale party.
A young Augie during a trip to Seattle.