knit me a chicken…

I work in an arts and crafts store. We have crafty, creative, weird, wonderful people.

One of them is Jeanette.

She is young, wise, brilliant, unique, shaped a bit like a seal or one of her mermaids, and has insanely long “Princess hair” which I envy.

She knits chickens… 

Wait wait, one of these things is not like the others…

Image result for hei hei

So, if you can knit chickens, you can knit Hei Hei.

He makes me smile…

In searching for that Hei Hei photo above, I found this cool article on how the chicken in Moana is far more symbolic than you imagined…

Whether he was purposefully endowed with Meaning, or whether it was just good storytelling and archetypes and that’s how characters develop Deep Meaning and Significance…

who cares. The fact that it is Hei Hei, not Pua the Cute Pig, who accompanies Moana on her journey, is significant. Hei Hei might mean fowl or chicken or disturbance or storm depending on what Maori Hawaiian Polynesian Samoan Tuvalauan dictionary you consult. Languages do not always translate directly anyway. His actions echo the people of the island, and Moana’s own life. His true wisdom is in how he reflects human nature.

In a larger sense, Heihei represents the Moana story. We learn that the people Moana will soon lead have lived for centuries on their island, never leaving its shores, fearful to cross the boundaries of the reef that surround it. They essentially live on a rock they peck away at day-by-day, having to shift depleting coconut groves and waning fishing spots to try and keep food on their tables. Now, compare that with an early scene, where we see Heihei actually pecking at a single isolated rock (like an island), to which a villager comments how the chicken “seems to lack the basic intelligence required for pretty much . . . everything.” Heihei attempts to ingest the rock before being forced to toss it back up. And so we have a chicken trying to make food of a rock, not able to look beyond it and see there is plenty elsewhere.

Every move the chicken does reflects, in some way, the nature of the humans in the story, their fear of the great world beyond the reef, their inability to see beyond their tiny world, “their own self-imposed limitations, banging their heads metaphorically against time and the island hoping it can sustain them indefinitely”… It is human nature, the nature of many people I know, of myself at times. I can relate to the fear of what’s “beyond the protecting reef”. Of change. Of challenge.

Part of We Know the Way is translated (by Te Vaka and Opetaia Foa’i) so…

We are voyagers summoned by the mighty gods of this mighty ocean to come

we take up the good challenge

get ready

We know the ways of the sea

we look to the stars and other signs to find our way

to discover new lands to make our home

oh! oh! there is land up ahead

a bird in flight to take us there

oh! oh! this beautiful land

the place i was looking for

we will make our home

We take up the challenge.

and the bird may not be in flight, but there he is… and he knows the way.



Jeanette also knits mermaids. They are quirky and deceptively simple. They’re slightly less Disneyish and slightly more… alien, mermaidy…

beach party
among the lotus
among the hyacinths
duckweed rock
water hyacinth lounge chair

They also fit neatly into the kitchen beach…

That is, in fact, Legolas with an adult beverage, Spiderman, Toothless, Lilo and Stitch Elvising on a surfboard, some Pirates booty, a Chincoteague Island VA Pony Penning water bottle, and a great watercolor (postcard) by Chesapeake Bay/Chestertown MD artist Marc Castelli. And a ship’s wheel made by my Uncle Bob.

Little things make me smile…

Here’s a pattern for some similar mermaids…

Handmade Mermaid





3 thoughts on “knit me a chicken…

    1. That’s great! I texted Jeanette to see if she can share the pattern. I know it’s just a modification of the other chicken patterns: longer neck, bigger eyes, tail. The basic chicken pattern is oddly basically egg shaped. Perhaps I should post more pics from all angles so people can study them. Jeanette just does them for fun, not profit, so it’s not a Big Secret.

      Liked by 1 person

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