While other dogs ran and fetched sticks, Micah liked to paint. At night, while her person, Angela, slept, Micah would take out her paintbox and create another artwork.
Soon, Angela’s walls and floors were filled with art. They were beautiful abstract works, but Micah never considered the way each of these works looked in proximity to the others. As a result, the colors clashed alarmingly.
Angela tried to broach the subject of the clashing colors to Micah, but the little Corgi insisted that she could only paint on a solid surface, and then only where inspiration guided her.
“The problem, though,” said Micah, looking at Angela with big eyes and a furrowed brow that allowed her to get away with anything, “is that I am unable to break out of this abstract style. I shall be known as one-note artist.”
Compounding Angela’s problems was that her pet chicken, Tulip, was not laying eggs the way she used to.
“I just wonder if this is all there is,” said Tulip, with a faint, sad smile. “I mean, I lay eggs. Big deal.”
“Everybody wants to be known for something special, ” Tulip said, “And I will never be known for anything.”
Angela patted Tulip on the head.
“There, there,” she said, “you’re a special chicken, I love you very much, and no other chicken has that winning smile that you have. Quite mysterious and enigmatic, you know. There’s so much more to you than laying eggs, and...”
Angela suddenly stopped, as the idea that changed everything came to her.
Gently, Angela hollowed out one of Tulip’s eggs, set it on a small cup made for soft boiled breakfast, placed it on the floor in front of Micah, and crossed her fingers. Micah looked at the egg, and something about its graceful, curved surface made Micah’s muse sing a song of inspiration.
“I,” said Micah, “shall paint a portrait.”
It turned out that the eggs, combined with the chickens that laid them, were the key that unlocked Michah’s vast potential. Soon, across the world, chickens vied to be the subject of Micah’s next work, and the finished portraits often ended up in high-end galleries and major museums.
And to this day, the most famous of these works is the one that has inspired numerous art critics to write of the story behind the subject’s faint, sad, enigmatic smile.