#Who's Who of B and B

The Summer of the Chicken and Fowl Play [writing prompt]

February 12, 2017

I know that chickens are all the rage right now.  I have neighbors and friends that have chickens, and they share those eggs with us.  I am thankful for friends that share - but there will never be chickens in my yard.  I know you should never say NEVER, but it's just not going to happen here.

Looking back, there are two memories of chickens that stand out to me.  One, we had friends that had a bunch of chickens and other animals on their farm.  When they went out of town (which thankfully wasn't too often), my family would go take care of their animals.  The task of collecting the eggs always seemed to fall to me.  It just seemed like those chickens weren't happy to see me.  They would almost fight me for their eggs.  I'll admit, maybe I had just seen Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and just didn't want to get pecked to death, but it was a real fear.

The other memory - well, my mom wanted to order some chickens in the spring so she could fatten them up and put them in the freezer at the end of summer.  She asked my step-dad how many she should order.  His response was, "I think 100.  By the time the horses step on some, the dogs and other wild animals get some, there should be a nice bunch to put in the freezer,"  So she ordered 100 baby chicks.  They were shipped in boxes that we picked up from the post office in the spring.  We're talking spring in Montana, so there were probably a couple more blasts of winter yet to come.  It can happen in April, folks!  So we had 100 baby chicks in boxes in our house.  Does anyone know what happens to those cute little yellow feathers when they start to grow and get their other feathers?  They turn to dust.  We had a layer of yellow dust everywhere!  Dusting was always one of my chores, so I know what I'm speaking of.

Then it was time to let the chickens outside.  They were everywhere.  It was the summer of the chicken!!  My cousins came to spend some time with us and we ate lots of chicken while they were here.  They happened to be with us during the end of the summer when it was time to finish beheading and plucking those chickens.  How many survived you may be asking.  Well, actually two pecked each other to death.  (Remember the fear I described up above?  IT'S A FACT!!)  One of the chickens was given to my youngest cousin, as he had become attached to it.

That summer we had to pluck 97 CHICKENS!!!  That's a whole lot of feathers!!!

So now you know why I will never have chickens.  But I must confess, eggs are my favorite go-to meal.  When I'm in a fog about what to have for dinner I just ask, "How do you want you eggs?  Fried, scrambled, boiled, poached?  And I love fried chicken, or baked chicken, or roasted chicken, or  -- well, you get the picture.  I'm not totally scarred.  I just know my limitations.

Thanks for listening!  I enjoy good company.


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