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The Chicken Massacre

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When I look back on my childhood I instinctively think of three things, my mother’s temper, working with dad at the family store, and grandpa’s stories. Although they may not be at the top of the list it is my grandfather’s stories that stick out the most to me when looking back on simpler days. Stories that even now, so many years later, still make me smile every time I think of them or try and tell them myself. One story of his in particular I remember quiet well is a tale known solely in my family as ‘The Chicken Massacre’. It all started during Easter in 1980 and grandpa was hunting around town for a gift for my father and his brothers. Baby chicks were the gift idea on his mind.

A local pet store had a box of forty chicks ready to go for the first customer willing to buy. My grandfather, being that willing customer, came in and attempted to buy the small handful of chicks as he had intended to do. Yet the store keeper would not allow him to buy just the couple that he wanted, he had to buy the whole forty or nothing at all. Pondering this, knowing full well that this is the only store in town with chicks for sale, and dreading the idea of going home empty handed grandpa bite his lip, and bought all forty. Seeing the joy on his sons’ faces’ later on Easter Sunday made him forget all about his deep hate for the store keeper who forced him into a corner, making him spend a ridiculous sum of money.

The chicks grew, and as they grew they changed, their fuzzy yellow coat turned into brown and spotty feathers, they straightened up to perfect chicken like posture, and light red bits of flesh extended and hung from above their heads and bellow their beaks. It was around here that grandpa realized that he’d made a dreadful mistake in buying the box of forty chicks. For these now fully grown chicks had not grown into chickens, they had grown into rooster, all forty of them. The more they matured the more they began to cock-a-doodle-do at sunrise. When I asked my uncles what forty roosters cooing sounds like at dawn they replied, “It sounded like forty choir boys having their voices crack with every single attempted verse.”

The family complained, the neighbors complained, at one point the police arrived at the front door early one morning in response to a noise complaint. Grandpa had to get rid of those roosters, and he had to do it fast. No idea how to get rid of them at first a solution was quickly brought to him by his maid, Mrs. Adams. She wanted to buy some of the roosters for different chicken recopies that her and her family could eat for dinner. Happily my grandfather accepted the offer and went right to work rounding up the roosters the following day. Now catching a rooster, especially with your bare hands like grandfather was doing, is almost impossible unless you can corner it. Yet grandpa, having the rather massively spacious backyard, had no such luck using this method. He tried and tried, yet he failed and failed, every time he thought he’d get close to catching one it would flap its wings, thrust its beak forward, and do anything and everything to escape my grandfather and every time the rooster would succeed.

After two hours of this grandpa had reached the end of his fuse, he threw up his arms, yelled out a stream of curses, and then stormed off to the garage where for five minutes he rummaged through piles of gardening tools before returning to the backyard. He returned wielding a long metal rake in his hands, standing on the back patio looking over the flock of roosters like a bird looking for its prey, he picked his targets carefully. Then with the full force of a screaming middle aged banshee he charged, rake swinging in the air like the axe of Thor before being brought down on his first victim. For twenty minutes grandpa was Godzilla and the roosters were Tokyo, they stood no chance. He decapitated, dismembered, maimed, bruised, killed, and slaughtered every single rooster in the backyard that day without so much as having any second thoughts about it until it was too late. When the carnage was over the backyard looked like the aftermath of one of the battles in ‘Brave Heart’. Rooster bodies strewed everywhere all bloody and beaten, most were dead some just badly wounded and desperately trying to crawl away.

Now like any other person who realized they’d just made a very grave mistake grandpa had to very hastily cover the whole mess in time for Mrs. Adams arrival. Searching the rooster bodies he took a handful of the ones that seemed a little less mangled than the rest and stuffed them into a straw sack. When Mrs. Adams came an hour after the massacre took place my grandfather greeted her with the biggest, broadest smile he could muster. Almost immediately Mrs. Adams knew something was wrong. Holding the smile on his face and doing his best to keep the conversation stress free and lively he lifted up the sack of roosters and handed it to her. As he lifted the sack, the few roosters still alive in the sack began to moan and coo in pain while at the same time a large amount of blood was dripping from the bottom of the sack. “Probably the most priceless part of the whole thing,” my father later told me, “Was the look of utter horror on Mrs. Adams face before she took the sack and ran off in her car.” No one in my family has seen or heard from Mrs. Adams since.





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goodtime67 said...
May 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

thats sick,im a chicken lover ( for pets)

and GROSS!!

why would he do that too them?!!

 
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