Country Living (warning:chicken death scene)

* I read a statistic today that half of rural dwellers don't have smart phones. Well, of course not, because we don't have reception, so why bother? I have what you might call a "nearly nonfunctional smart phone." My phone has an IQ of slightly above average. 101 IQ points. 

* We had a mean little chicken. She was very little. She looked like a little brown dove, but so mean. Every day, when I went out to feed her, she would peck at me. She jumped up and pecked my legs over my boots. I couldn't stand it. Every day! Pain! Finally, Thursday morning, I grabbed that little chicken by the neck and put her in a cage. I had things to do. I left her there. Later in the day, I got my big knife, the one Grandpa Alvin gave me (he was a chef at Mel's drive in in San Francisco.) I asked Z (age 8), "would you like to witness a brutal murder?" 

"Well," she said, "Yes. Yes, I would."

And so she did. 

We went out to the killing tree. The day was warm. The cone was ready. I had to pick my way through the poison parsnip through to the cone. I had the chicken by the legs. I put her in the cone, but she was too small. I apologized before I slit her throat. As I returned her to the karmic cycle, head thrown to the bushes, she slipped through the cone, and headlessly bounced around the grass. Cloudy the sheep came to take a look. Cloudy has four giant horns. Cloudy said,

"Bah." (What else would he say?)

Z said,

"Can I touch the dead chicken?"

"Yes," I said, "But I think it might move."

She walked up to it, and it did move, headless though it was.

"Wow," she said.

"You know," I said, "there is a saying, 'don't bite the hand that feeds you.' That chicken won't be biting me, any more."

* Z (age 8) will be showing our sheep, Candy Darling, at the county fair. Every day, we walk out and catch that silly little sheep, and Z puts it on a leash and walks it around the pasture, practicing for her fair presentation. I have never even watched a sheep at a county fair, but every day, Z asks me questions, and I have no answers. I do have some faith, however, in the goodness of a girl and her favorite sheep.  Are blue ribbons in order? Perhaps not. But, you know, you have to spend your time doing something. Why not walk a sweet little sheep around in circles?  Our sheep are so rare, we have to be in the "exotic animals" category. 


  1. Peaceful journey to the little chicken. Hope she moves up the "pecking" order.

    1. Yes, I wish her well. I just didn't like being attacked every day. She made a nice chicken curry.

  2. One could speculate that her pecking was a message; 'I don't like this life. Help send me to the next one.' Just saying.

  3. Let that be a warning to the other chickens: don't peck the human's legs. She will kill you.