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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Chicken

I was 13 years old when my dad gave me a sick baby chick to nurse back to health. He had found it on the side of the road on his way home from work. Easter Sunday was two weeks before and Dad guessed the chick had been a gift and abandoned after the novelty of owning it had worn off.

Pulling his pickup off the road, he got out, and scooped that bird with both hands.
Dad knew my passion for animals, and caring for them. I was forever coming home with a sick dog, or cat. I was "Daddy's Little Girl." I had license.

I do not have to close my eyes to see that yellow ball of fluff tucked inside Dad's tin lunch box, or see his two beady-eyes peeping back at me. After I picked the little fell up and cradled him in my cupped hands, Dad helped duck tape a match stick to sick chick's leg for support. He gave me a 2" roofing nail, which I used as a tool to dig worms. 

Soon, chicken strutted strong, again. His leg sufficiently healed, he scratched dirt and found his own food. Over the summer, he shed his yellow fuzz, grew feathers the color of snow, and a fat floppy red crown. One bright September morning, that rooster crowed. Again. Again. And, again. That rooster would not stop crowing.

I was so proud, I named him FogHorn. I thought his cock-a-doodle-do was cute.

The neighbors did not agree. They called the police, and complained.

It was hard saying goodbye to my feathered friend. But I had to face reality, FogHorn needed a new home. I had done a good job raising him. I watched him grow from a limping baby chick to healthy adult Bantam rooster. Besides, I worried someone in the neighborhood might catch and eat him. 

Dad made a few telephone calls and word got out a pet rooster needed a good home. There was a children's country day school a short distance from where we lived. It had a petting zoo. Imagine my delight when the manager contacted Dad and agreed to accept FogHorn. The following evening, we made the drive--Me, Dad, and FogHorn, to the school. Dad by my side saying you're doing a good thing Linda, I leaned over a wire fence surrounding a quiet pond with three ducks swimming in it and a horse, pig, and goat standing alongside it, and lowered FogHorn to the ground.

Many years have passed since that day FogHorn moved away. That country day school and children's petting zoo are long gone. But, the memory of that looney rooster crowing into a setting sun will stay with me forever. C'mon. How many readers can say they had a pet rooster when they were a kid?

Foghorn, 1962


My kid sister and baby brother holding Foghorn.

 Writing Tip:

Write from the heart. Don't be afraid to tell your story. Your story is what makes you unique. Remember: You have permission.

Writing Quote:

"The sensation of writing a book is the sensation of spinning, blinded by love and daring."--Annie Dillard from her book, "The Writing Life"


Until this time next time.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
"Come journal with me, your book is yet to be."

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1 comment:

soggy in the corner said...

Love chickens! My post was about chickens as well. Aren't neighbors sometimes the pits?! We just gave away our three grown chicks because one was a rooster. I didn't want to separate them so I gave a very nice lady all three...and kept the mother hen. Now she is molting and sad, but we give her a lot of attention and hopefully soon she will brood again and we will buy her two chicks. Hopefully they will both be girls! Or else we will find another hen for company for her. Or perhaps we will just give her to the lady who has her three babies. She also was a foundling. My girlfriend who lives in a big city rescued her after someone found her under a car, a half sick, half grown chick. I don't think my girlfriend would want me to give her away. I don't want to, either. I miss the three babies as well. But they have a lot more room to roam, so that is good, because we have a small yard and a very small pen. So it is good for them.Still sad, though.