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The Half Rooster (glossy cover)

An Albanian Folk Tale

ByPhillip MartinPhillip Martin

Usually printed in 3 - 5 business days
This tale has proven to be a favorite among student that I have shared it with. A poor man in Albania has to kill his rooster for a meal. But, on second thought, he opted to cut the rooster in half. He ate one half and saved the other half for a pet. Now, the Half Rooster was nobody's fool. He knew he had to go out to earn his fame and fortune in the world before the poor man got hungry again. With the help of Frog, Fox, Wolf and Mouse, the Half Rooster succeeded in his mission. I first arrived in Albania shortly after it opened up to the West. In those days there were no travel books or Internet searches. The border crossing was just that. A crossing. No signs of civilization, no restaurants, and no hotels welcomed me at the border. There were few cars back then. The main form of transportation was by donkey cart. And, I arrived at night with no idea where to go. I was told the closest hotel was in Gjirokaster, 20 miles away. A taxi driver had a hotel business card that said, “We speak English.” It was good enough for me. That was how I met the Kotoni family. Their home was a two hundred-year-old Ottoman building that over-looked the old town. The family exuded so much Albanian hospitality and warmth that I decided to stay an extra day in Gjirokaster. During my stay, I signed their guestbook. However, I didn’t just sign it. I drew the skyline of the old city as seen from their front porch. Nobody ever did that before, and I wasn’t forgotten. Fourteen years later . . . Taulant, the family son, found my website. Now living in the USA (and certainly no longer eight), he said his parents still thought fondly of me and showed off my drawing to any and all guests who came to their now expanded guest house. I decided it was time to go back to Albania and make another drawing in their guestbook. As it turns out, I’ve visited the Kotonis four times -- two of them were muraling adventures. Every time I return, it is like coming home to family. I look forward to the day when I can go back to Albania for my fifth family reunion. Faleminderit, Kotonis.


Publication Date
Sep 6, 2023
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Phillip Martin, Illustrated by: Phillip Martin


Case Wrap
Interior Color
US Letter (8.5 x 11 in / 216 x 279 mm)

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