Friday, October 12, 2012

Our Oklahoma Chickens

We were living in Covington, Oklahoma. I was about seven years old. My family had little money. We moved to Oklahoma so we wouldn't have the huge coal bills we had in Iowa. Daddy traveled all over North America and sent money home to Mother. He was gone weeks at a time.

In order to provide meat, for our family of six, Mother decided to raise roosters. She bought 100 cute little yellow chicks. Our garage was changed from a play school to a chicken house! Lorraine and I were disappointed to lose our school but we loved the baby chicks! Our back yard was fenced in so as they grew the chickens could scratch and eat.

I love hearing roosters crow early in the morning and it probably goes back to our days of raising chickens!

We were in for a surprise! We began finding eggs! One every day! One of the chickens was a hen! She laid one egg a day except on Sunday! We decided she must be a Free Methodist (the church denomination we belonged to) chicken because she didn't work on Sunday!

An old couple lived around the corner from us and our back yards butted up together. They had a beautiful garden with all kinds of fresh vegetables!

Every now and then we'd hear and see the man yelling and waving his arms and then we'd hear chickens squawking! Oh no, our chickens were flying up to the top of the fence and down into the neighbor's garden! He was very angry with the chickens and with my mother.

Poor Mother. She didn't like upsetting our neighbors but she was committed to providing meat for her family.

Since Daddy was gone most of the time our pastor came over to help Mother when it was time to butcher some of the chickens. We, kids, stayed in the house during the butchering but then helped out with plucking the feathers. Mother was raised on a farm so she knew how to prepare a chicken for cooking or freezing.

One day after butchering several, Mother got an idea...

She carefully cut the chickens in pieces and wrapped them in freezing paper. Then she took two of the packages and walked around the corner to the old couple who hated our roosters. They were so surprised to see her and probably didn't even want to go to the door!

Mother apologized for the roosters getting into their garden and then held out two packages of freshly butchered and packaged chickens! "I want you to have these," she said with a smile. They were so surprised and gratefully accepted them. They never yelled at our chickens again!

She didn't just give them one. She generously gave them two chickens! That's  my mother! What a lasting impression she made on us children that day and on the neighbors! I still remember it like it was yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Such graciousness!

Anita Archer said...

Thank you so much for your comment!Comments mean so much.

Anonymous said...

Nice story and it does sound just like Grandma to do that.

Anita Archer said...

Thanks Pam, for commenting. Yes, it does sound like Grandma! She never wants to hurt anyone...neither do I!