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    May 2019
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Aunt Eileen’s Chicken Dinner

These Stories My Family Tells are obviously ones we’ve heard many times in my family. That’s kind of the point. So, when we were young and any of my Dad’s siblings would come to visit, we knew we were going to be hearing some funny stories, well told. One of my favorite stories is one my Aunt Eileen used to tell on herself and I started anticipating hearing it the moment she arrived.

My Dad’s family grew up way, wa-a-a-ay back in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. Roads? Were there roads? Of a sort—a narrow, gravel track winding its way to the homestead. So, these were not people who popped into town for non-essentials. They stayed put, raised their own animals, and tended a large garden.

My Aunt Eileen had a lower pitched, gravelly-sounding voice and would always start this story with a laugh. “One time I decided to help Mommy with supper,” she would say, and I would start grinning.

Supper was whatever food was found in the garden or barn yard. But Aunt Eileen didn’t want to help with one of the easier tasks, such as picking a few tomatoes, or shucking some green beans. No, she would prepare the chicken. And that didn’t mean pulling a dressed chicken out of the refrigerator. The chickens were roaming around outside in the yard, scratching for bugs.

But after all, she’d seen her Mommy wring a chicken’s neck before. How hard could it be? For someone who knows what they are doing, wringing a chicken’s neck is a quick, simple procedure. However, for a six-year-old child who lacks the strength and skill, it’s neither simple, nor quick.

Eileen grasped the chicken around the neck and started swinging, but the chicken wasn’t cooperating. It wouldn’t die. Swing, swing, swing. . .swing, swing, swing. Still alive. Finally, Mammaw saw what Eileen was doing and ordered her to put down the chicken.

When my aunt released that poor chicken, it went staggering around the yard as if it had been on a weekend bender. “Brrrraaaahk, brok, mrrrrahhhk!”

My aunt would laugh and laugh. It makes me happy that she passed on one of her cherished memories and in the process, created a cherished memory for me.

Stella is not amused

Stella is not amused

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers


File under: Chickens Are SO Weird!

Keeping chickens in town is generally an easy, fun, little hobby. The chickens are interesting to watch. The eggs are the yummiest. But sometimes, events take a strange turn.

Hens are known for having an “egg song” they sing to let you know they have laid an egg. Our Buff Orpington hen, Tillie, loudly sings her song in her strangely low-pitched, gravelly voice before she lays her eggs. She’s all, “Bok! Bok! It’s about to happen! Bok! Bok! I’m really gonna do it! Bok! Bok! I swear, I’m gonna lay this egg right here, right now!”

Enter our accidental rooster named Marilla (Yeah, I know. But we didn’t know he was a rooster when we got him.) Anyway, Marilla hears Tillie bokking her head off, and apparently thinks there is a threat he needs to let me know about. He’s all, “Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! Something’s going on out here! Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! What am I gonna do?! What am I gonna do?! I know, I’ll let that big featherless chicken take care of it. Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR!

So, I take care of it.

I bet our neighbors hate us.

Our accidental rooster, Marilla, in a calm moment

Our accidental rooster, Marilla, in a calm moment

Add the chicks

We just bought a few chicks to raise for eggs. (DH, “If we name them, we won’t be eating them.”) So I may need to change the name of the blog to life + knitting + chicks because they take a lot of care at this stage. Plus, they’re just so darn cute to watch.

Here’s a fun activity for youngs chicks (and for the humans who observe them): Put some kind of little treat in for them–they seem to like olives–and watch them chase each other to get it. Even when you put in enough pieces for each to have one, they chase each other to get the olive in some other chick’s beak.

Now, I’m going to resist making any analogies with human behavior.

(but you know what I’m thinking, don’t you?)

uh, huh

Anyway, here’s to Stella, Lucy, Violet, Lizzie, and Sylvie. You chicks are a riot!

Really cute chickie, despite reminding me of a wolf spider