S.A. Molteni is well loved for her essays on hobby farming and animal husbandry - from the pain of losing a cherished pet cow and calf during childbirth to the sweetness of spending Christmas Eve in a manger with two Jersey cow babies.
In this new collection of short stories, she poignantly and reflectively brings to the surface the highs and lows of living on a hobby farm and the deep connection that a farmer has to her animals.
From predatory hawk attacks on her beloved chickens, to a goat with an attitude, to bottle-feeding a calf, along with a fictional tale based on Chicken Little, the narratives give a condensed version of the best times and the worst times during her past five years on a hobby farm.
"The thought of the sky falling seemed to be ludicrous at present and the least of her worries."
Chickens, Hawks and Grumpy Goats: Five Years on a Farm is another endearing book filled with short stories by S.A. Molteni. The author has a down home comforting writing style that allows the reader to connect even if they have never lived this lifestyle. She brings you in with an open heart and genuine passion. Reading her stories is a great escape and a heart warming adventure.
I loved all the stories in the collection but I did get an extra fuzzy feeling from 'The Best Christmas Eve Ever'. Heartwarming and shares some precious moments in this family's life. The author manages to remind us that it is the simple things in life that are the most sacred.
These unusual, sometimes funny and at other times emotional stories are told from some unexpected voices. They are smart and precise. Each piece moved me and also brought a smile to my face.
A Special Bull is a down to earth short story. I love how natural this author writes about everyday events. She takes you right in and brings you with her. There is just something so fresh and uncomplicated in the writing. Kind of like a breath of fresh air. This is a slice of life from middle America. An everyday story that is not at all ordinary I realized as I dove further into the narrative. A Special Bull is written with passion and love. Not everything as it seems and this story becomes a bit of a fantasy with an interesting twist.
“As Alyssa dozed off to sleep, she entered a world she mostly kept to herself. Her dreams were a constant reminder of the life she left behind and the years of craziness she had escaped from just a few short months ago.
Falling into a deeper sleep, her subconscious felt that something was different, not the same visions of all the bad choices she had made in the past. No, this dream was not like the others.”
Fade to Gray is an adorable story that had me chuckling to myself. It was all told as if in living color. Not just gray! The writing is down to earth and inviting. I really enjoyed this sweet little escape from my own "age" issues. There is a great message that I was delighted to read. It's funny, real and emotional at the same time. The vulnerability was realistic, relatable and touching. I applaud the author for writing this for us all to enjoy.
Fear of the unknown and fear of getting and looking old exists and should be talked about more.
"Like Edwards Scissorhands attacking a topiary tree, Laura proceeded to trim and style my hair with a speed that scared me. When she was done, I saw my new self in the mirror for the first time. As Laura stood in silence, I sat in utter disbelief at the results of this four-hour experiment and took a few minutes to take it all in.”
Her Name was Half Calf is a gripping short story filled with humanity.
This emotional tale about a cow, Half Calf touched me. This is a heartfelt story that is filled with passion and heart wrenching devotion. The real life emotion fills your senses every step of the way. The writing is clear, to the point and the emotions shared are realistic and relatable. What a sweet moving slice of life!
"We tried several more times to get her to her feet. On the last attempt, she screamed the most haunting, blood-curdling moo that we had ever heard come from a cow. It was her way of saying, "Stop. I am done. No more."
S.A. Molteni is currently a systems engineer in the banking industry. In her free time, she is a hobby farmer and writer. She lives on a small homestead with her husband of 15 years and a menagerie of farm animals.
S.A. Molteni can be found on the following social media sites: