Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken about Chickens

Photo courtesy Jacqueline Fouche.

You're probably wondering what chickens have to do with genealogy, but trust me, I have a reason for telling this story. In addition to telling the stories of my ancestors, I also want to share some of my own stories.

Most people that know me well know that I have a severe dislike of chickens. I have said on more than one occasion that the only chicken I want to see is the one on my plate. There's a reason for this.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents. They raised chickens among other animals. When I was young, they had this one rooster that took a serious dislike to me. If I stuck so much as a toe out the door, he was ready to attack. Everyone would laugh when I told them that the rooster had it out for me. It got to the point that I didn't want to go outside unless I knew he was locked up in the pen.

One day, my grandmother talked me into going outside while he was loose. She said she'd hold my hand and he wouldn't bother me then. Well she was wrong. That rooster flew up in between us and flogged us both. Needless to say, that didn't help my fear of him.

Even though we ended up having him for supper that night (the toughest chicken I've ever ate in my life), that fear has followed me to adulthood. Shortly after we moved into our current home, one of the neighbors decided to start raising chickens. He built a pen for them and I thought it would be okay.

I'm sure the other neighbors must have got a kick the first time the chickens got loose. I opened the door to go somewhere and there was my nemesis, a rooster, standing on the other side of the screen door. I did what any self-respecting woman would do; I screamed and slammed the door as fast as possible.

These chickens must have a Houdini gene. The neighbor has increased the height of the fence, changed the pen two or three times to make it more secure and even clipped the chickens' wings so they can't fly. Yet they still find a way to sneak into my yard.

What makes things worse is my daughter fell in love with one of the hens and now insists that she wants one herself. My husband wants to get one for her.

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