Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's Play Chicken

September is half over
and I wouldn't be
doing my job as a blogger
if I didn't inform you all that
this is Chicken Month.

I suppose you've really got to
hand it to them.
Chickens are more than just birds.
They've saved fat women
and choked dogs for years now.

And I imagine it's got to be
a difficult task standing up next to
the all-delicious-self-basting turkeys
that dominate the month of November.

But one thing I have noticed is
that chickens look better with
their feathers on-
and turkeys look better naked.
And golden.
And stuffed with moist flavorful dressing.
Topped with thick awesome gravy.

well, enough about food dreams.
We are here to salute the chicken.

My dad was usually a very sensible man.
But once upon a time,
he came home with some
sweet baby chicks.
All fluffy and yellow
and peeping like a mini-microwave does
when the Hot Pocket is ready.

We were thrilled.
We were ecstatic to have
these new pets.
It was such a change from stray cats
and pound puppies
and gold fish from the carnival.

But gradually,
these balls of peeping fur
became tall, lean, molting,
(sometimes crowing)-
unrecognizable morphs.

And they grew wild-
running amok in the garden and yard-
clawing up worms
and garbage
and jetting around like
feathers on wheels.

My youngest sister Tina
was probably only about
five or six years old at the time-
and she decided to hide under
the bushes from the crazed chickens.

Bad idea.

They just followed her
and gave her a good sharp peck
to the face.
Of course what was probably just
a bit of a cut
became- in our eyes-
a flood of gore and blood
that brought horrific screams.
And brought my mom and dad
flying out of the house to
save poor Tina.

There was only one thing to do.
No speedy trial.
No judge and jury.
Dad made the decision to wring
those chickens necks!

After finally catching them,
he gave one quick twist
of their murderous feathered necks,
and they were as limp
as a wet noodle.

We cried.
We pouted.
We hated Tina!
Our beloved pets were annihilated
right in front of our eyes!

Linda and I found the chicken feet
out in the weeds
and placed them in an old shoe box.
We kept them as a memorial
of our punky poultry pets
that met a tragic end.

I think that for a few weeks afterward
we avoided Dad.
Not only because were were mad-
but because we were afraid
that any fighting or bickering
between us kids
might result in a neck popping.

And then Mom found the chicken feet
under our bed
after the smell almost ran everyone
out of the house.

Now days when I see those
little Easter chicks that peep sweetly-
yearning to be adopted-
I just turn my head
and walk the other way.

It takes all I have to
celebrate Chicken Day.

But Turkey Day-
Well, that's another story....