From a practical standpoint, when you spend a good deal of the year traveling, as we do, the last thing you need is more ‘souvenir stuff’ to collect dust in your absence.
So I can’t explain when I became focused on ceramic roosters; the kind that are often used to decorate European kitchens. It was somewhere between Italy and Portugal or possibly, France that I decided in order to look more European, our kitchen ‘needed’ a colorful ceramic cock!
The Rooster’s ‘Tale '’
Take Portugal for instance. . .
As the legend goes about the Galo de Barcelos, a man accused of stealing was sentenced to death by a judge who was about to dine on a roasted rooster. The convicted man told the judge that the rooster on his plate would rise and crow to validate his innocence. And sure enough, as he was placed on the gallows, that rooster raised up and began crowing – and spared his life!
To this day, the rooster represents faith, luck and justice in Portugal. And roosters like those in the photos above and below are found in every tourist shop!
And then there is Italy. . . .where the story is told that back in 1516 a crowing rooster in the middle of the night is credited with waking the powerful Medici family and foiling an assassination attack on them. As a result, Guiliano Medici ordered the creation of a ceramic rooster pitcher and they were given to the peasants for good luck. The rooster continues to symbolize blessings, prosperity and well-being.
Back to ‘my’ rooster quest . . . those beautifully sculpted Italian ceramic roosters don’t fit in our small travel suitcases and I am not birdbrained enough to carry one back in my lap on a 10-hour flight from Europe.
Meet “Dooley” – our kitchen rooster:
Sometimes things are just meant to be. At a recent auction that our animal-loving friends at Dooley’s Dog House in Kirkland had organized for homeless animals, I found my rooster.
While he isn’t quite the sleek, tall, good-looking Italian ceramic version I had in mind, my somewhat reasonable (okay. . .$15 bid) secured his homecoming at our house. (I did note no one else seemed interested in bidding on him, let alone taking him home)
He’s actually a cookie jar – one of a collection of whimsical jars made by a long-ago company AMC in New York – and he crows - every time you open the jar!)
And by coming home with me, he’s already provided some good fortune for some homeless animals out there. . .
So what about the souvenirs you buy? What are your favorite things to bring home? Practical or silly? Tell us about it in the comments below or shoot us an email. Hope to see you back here on Travel Photo Thursday!
And stop by The Tablescraper for some Sunday reading at "Seasonal Sundays" - you'll find some posts by us and many, many other entertaining writers!
Until then, hope your travels are something to crow about (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!!!