Bringing a Smile: Whittling a Limb Y-Branch Folk-Art Rooster for Luella

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 12-31-2006 07:25 PM 10596 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bringing a Smile: Whittling a Limb Y-Branch Folk-Art Rooster for Luella
Bringing a Smile: Whittling a Limb Y-Branch Folk-Art Rooster for Luella No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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A good friend of mine had his mother, Luella, in the hospital, and she was not doing well. She had been through a lot of struggles with her health, and seemed to be losing the battle. I had been worrying about her, and thinking about her a lot. I remembered a fun afternoon we spent at her house where she showed me her collection of Roosters. She has big ones, little ones, and huge ones, and she really enjoyed collecting the Roosters, and her enthusiasm was fun to see.

About that same time, I had been watching a show on the DIY Network called WoodSculpting, in which an episode featured Chris Lubkeman who has made a career out of carving Y-Branch birds, and writing books about it. I enjoyed the show, and Chris’ energetic personality, and so I thought I would try my own hands at the Y-Branch Roosters.

Since I was concerned about Luella, I decided that I would carve a Rooster for her in the “Chris Lubkeman Style” and take it to the hospital to cheer her up.

So, I took some time away from my shop projects to spend a couple of hours finding a few nice Y-Branch limbs, carving, and then painting two little Roosters. I picked out my favorite one, and headed to town to visit Luella at the Hospital.

Luella had a really rough day in the hospital that day, and so I made my visit short, and to the point. I told her, “I know you like Roosters, and have been feeling bad, so I carved something that I hope will bring you a smile.” Then, I pulled the little rooster out of my jacket pocket and presented it to her. She brought out a big smile, and thanked me for the gift.

A couple of days later, my friend’s wife said that the little Rooster really stirred Luella’s spirits that day, and they appreciated the gift.

Luella passed away just a few days after my visit, and we all miss her. I was so pleased that I taken the prompting from the Lord to put my own schedule on hold, to carve a “little smile maker” for Luella.

Now, Luella’s little Rooster sits on a window sill in her son’s house, beside a favorite picture of Luella smiling. Even though Luella has bigger joys now, the little Rooster has a nice place in her son’s home.

I posted this project hoping to inspire other lumberjocks, as I know all of us have dear ones in our lives that need a boost and a smile, whether they are sick, or depressed. Who is it in your life that you could cheer up a bit with about an hour’s worth of effort? You might be amazed at the difference it makes in someone else’s life.

Mark DeCou

P.S. here is a link to the DIY show:,2046,DIY_19142_35049,00.html

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

4 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5370 days

#1 posted 12-31-2006 10:16 PM

Yet another bad business decision Mark. You will never get rich giving …well I seem to remember something about…well God bless ya!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5232 days

#2 posted 01-01-2007 12:39 AM

A beautiful story, my brother. Your act not only brought a smile to your friend, it brings a big smile to my heart.

God bless.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5366 days

#3 posted 01-02-2007 05:01 AM

May God bless you for using your skills for the benefit of another. They say that woodworking is an unselfish hobby because we usually give our work to others to bring a smile to their faces and in giving we recieve. I hope your story will be an inspiration to all of us to take the time to make a difference in someones life.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5302 days

#4 posted 03-23-2009 04:54 PM

I am so glad I found this little jewel 2 days before my cancer surgery Mark. You brightened my month in the same way you unselfishly brought a smile to that old women. With the cane you gave me. We reap what we sow. I hope that holds true, you will reap many, many blessings Mark. God Bless you and your family until the Lord calls us home. I am not afraid anymore about my surgery. Partly because I’ve turned it over to God, but also the support I’ve received from the many friends and family. May the Savior of all men heap his Blessings upon you and yours and preserve you in this life. Love and prayers, Mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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