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    September 2017
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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

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