Monday, April 21, 2008

Choking your Chicken

Back in the earliest days of the 20th century, when my grandmother was a little girl, she witnessed the events that led to this blog, the events that led to a favorite family story of the infamous day when my great grandmother tried to choke her chicken.

I had best explain. My great grandparents, Louis Dillard Kirkpatrick (Daddad) and Mary Campbell Kirkpatrick (Mamie) lived with their daughter (my grandmother, Edna) in Bridgeport, Texas. They owned a large house on fourteen acres of land. They had pecans, various fruit trees, and they kept chickens. If the dinner-time meal was to be chicken, Mamie would ask Daddad to please go get her a chicken, and he'd go out to the hen house and select a tasty looking bird. He would hold it by the head and with a quick spin of his wrist, the chicken's head would come off, and he'd take the chicken to my great grandmother for cleaning and cooking.

But one day, she forgot to ask Daddad to get her a chicken. She had witnessed the deed on many, many occasions. And she thus thought, "Oh foot! I can kill a chicken! I've seen Louis do it a hundred times!" So she went out into the yard, snuck up on the feathered dinner-on-legs, and grabbed it by the head. It squawked and flapped its wings, and she took a deep breath and started to spin the chicken around. And she continued to spin the chicken.

The chicken was not amused. It still squawked and flapped its wings. But Mamie kept on spinning the chicken. Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, around the chicken went! All the other chickens looked on in wonder!
Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, around the chicken went!

Eventually, my great grandmother let the chicken go. With a sigh, she went into the house to find something else to make for dinner.

According to family legend that chicken eventually died of old age - with its head permanently wrenched, turned backwards looking over its shoulder. When my great grandmother would see the chicken out in the yard she would look at it with remorse and sigh ... "Oh, Louis, oh ... oh..."


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