Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chicken Farmers

My neighbor is selling brown eggs for $2. We used to buy them from a farm down the road then they quit selling them. Then we bought from Mrs. Brown at Brown's Grocery up the road, better known as the Martinsville Mall as some of my neighbors call it.

Mom is a chicken farmer and has been doing that all of my life. Chicken chores was a daily part of our farm. I learned to despise chickens.

I have a vivid childhood memory of her mother helping me kill my first chicken when I was about five. She laid the old chicken's neck on the chopping block and ordered me to chop it off with dad's axe. The chicken jumped out of her feeble hands and I learned what "running like a chicken with it's head cut off" meant.

You had to love eggs on our farm because that was a staple food, unlike today's farms. Mom kept enough to sell at the farm because we lived on a main road, the first farm out of town. I could walk to school until the ninth grade when our school was consolidated and the high school was built 12 miles away.

Chicken and dumplings was never a favorite food for me like some other people I know. Fried chicken Sundays, yuck, I just never cared for chicken. Pork and beef was a treasure compared to chicken. Thankfully we had plenty of pork and beef, too.

Those chickens provided mom with grocery money, us with school lunch money and I don't know what all. Chickens provided us with a better life but one I don't care to remember, at least that part of it. Did you ever clean out a chicken house? You would get my point.

Chickens are the dumbest creatures God ever created. Sheep following the leader off a cliff seems more connectable to human beings. Chickens peck each other to death and we all know pecking order. We could all write a book about that!

Mike's brown eggs reminded me of life on the farm as a child. I will say LuAnn has learned to make a chicken salad with celery, onions, nuts and berries that is really good. She camoflauges it so well I imagine you woundn't even call it chicken salad as it is traditionally known. Put that on a bed of lettuce or a fresh crossiant and boy, what a treat!

Not like that first episode I described at all.

Hat's off today to chicken farmers!

Ed Winkle

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