The story behind this scene (or what happened afterwards)
For this folio exchange, Hand, Eye, Bird, I took the literal approach (as usual). In fact this image is the first thing I thought of when I read about this folio. For me, there is no stare more intense than a predator focusing on it’s prey, and although that was not my intent (to feed a helpless, cute little chick to Dexter), it was clearly Dexter’s.
As you can read in the print, The handbook said…, I am doing just what is recommended, showing Dexter one of the chicks (out of the box full of chicks that I just brought home from the post office). I am telling Dexter: “Gentle, good boy!…Mama’s chick…gentle…good boy!….” which I’m sure he translated to “Blah, blah, blah good boy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, good boy….” (I now realize that I was praising him for staring, “pointing” and anticipating the kill as he trembled with anticipation). He is vibrating here (as little terriers do), eyes growing wider and wider. What you don’t see in the print, is the split second after…. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Dexter had the chick’s head in his mouth! “NO!! Dexter!!! BAD boy!!!!” I shouted, and in the next instant, Dexter had opened his mouth and the chick’s head popped out (chick wasn’t harmed), and then Dex was cringing and trembling with fright that I’d yelled at him (which is SO Dexter). It all happened in seconds–so fast that the chick didn’t even blink an eye or register the fact that it was almost swallowed alive.
Another typical vignette of life on our farm. It is never boring when you live with terriers.