Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Never Play Possum

So, Trevor and Devin, it is important to never play possum. You might end up hurt...

Let me tell you why.

When I was a kid, living in the middle of Wynona, we had chickens. They spent most of their time in the chicken yard and slept inside the chicken house. Because we had chickens, we also had chores. The chickens had to be fed and watered, and their eggs had to be gathered.

I was afraid of chickens. It was Chad. He told me about cockfights and how those things (spurs) on the back of the chicken's leg could tear you up bad. I was especially afraid of roosters, but I didn't like being around hens after Chad told me all about the secret history of cockfighting.

I was chicken of chickens.

It bothered me. We had chickens. We had chores. And, I was afraid of those chickens, and it made it hard to do my chores.

Chad. I need to call him soon.

Anyway, although I may be remembering incorrectly, I didn't shirk my chores despite my fears. I remember trying to face my fears as much as I could. One thing that really freaked me out was the thought of reaching underneath a hen to gather her eggs. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't do it. Not at all. I thought that maybe when I was all grown up I might be able to gather eggs from beneath chickens fearlessly. But if I was going to get from afraid to fearless, I was going to have to start small.

The very day that I was ready to start small and stick my little hand beneath a chicken, the very first "chicken" I tried to gather eggs was a little dark brown chicken. The hen house was dark-ish inside. I approached the chicken, reached out my little hand, and when I got close (which was probably 2 feet away) I realized that there was a possum playing hen in our hen house, and I was just about to stick my hand underneath her!

Actually, I don't think I knew it was a possum. I only knew it was a scary looking thing that wasn't a chicken and that I had come *this* close to sticking my hand underneath that thing!

I ran back to the house and told Mom about the non-chicken in the hen house.

She got Dad's rifle.

She went back to the hen house.

She fired.

She missed.

Thankfully, she also missed Mr. Gatewood who lived behind chicken yard.

My memory goes blank after that, but I assume that possum got up and ran away, and I know Mr. Gatewood lived another day, too.

I never did stick my hand underneath a chicken.

So, boys, never play possum in a hen house. Memaw might get her gun...

2 comments:

mom said...

TRICIA,
You are a very ornery little girl still!! That was not very nice telling that story. (even if it is true) The "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say, is that Mr. Gatewood was the boy scout leader.....and your brother was in boy scouts. Need I say more. Mr. Gatewood told them how important gun safty was and how his neighbor from across the alley has almost shot him. Needless to say I have not shot a gun since then.
Love MOM

Busy_Woman said...

I didn't remember that part. Thanks!

And, congrats to the Great Grandma!