Retired. Living simply and frugally. Eating healthy, home-grown, local organic food. Avoiding GMOs, processed, packaged, and shipped foods to be more kind to mother earth. Gardening is my passion.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
My Dad and His Childhood Chicken Story
Somewhere around 1940, a little boy in the small town of Gratz, Pennsylvania, was sent to the backyard by his mom to "go get a chicken for supper." Everyone in Gratz had backyards full of vegetables, chickens, and a pig to eventually slaughter as a neighborhood project. This is how folks lived and thrived in smalltown USA before industrial agriculture. They grew and raised all their food. If the bill at the grocery store was more than $10 a week, Dad wasn't happy. That bill was for a family of 8. So little boy Donnie went to the chicken pen to catch a chicken for dinner. They all gathered around him as though it was time for their feeding. You see, little Donnie cared for the birds and they grew fond of his handsful of feed everyday. Little Donnie caught one of his flock, and with ax in hand and mom's orders in his head, he hesitated. He listened to his chicken cackle, hung his head, and let her go. He couldn't do it. He went back to the house and his mom said, "where's the chicken?" And little Donnie said, "I couldn't catch one." His mother mumbled some Pennsylvania dutch, calling him dumb. I'm glad little Donnie was dumb and never killed a chicken. And I'm more glad his 81 year old brain remembered the story and told me about it last night, on my birthday. I loved it. Of course he mumbled the exact same words in Pennsylvania dutch that his mom mumbled, but I'm sorry to say I never learned the language and couldn't repeat. Thanks for the story dad!