As you know if you’ve read my bio or been following my blog for more than a month or so, I grew up on a farm in southern Indiana.
We had cows – still do – and for a time when I was little, we had hogs. Then my Mom vetoed the hogs, mostly because of the smell and swarms of flies that would overwhelm us in the summer months.
We never had chickens.
The reason for this was that my Mom DETESTS chickens. She would tell us how it was her job to feed the chickens on her parents’ farm growing up, and she HATED it. The chickens smelled AWFUL and having to feed them meant carrying the smell around with you, EVEN AFTER YOU’D WASHED.
Those capital letters? Those are hers. She was vehement, VEHEMENT, in her extreme dislike of chickens. My brother will totally back me up on this. You can ask him.
So imagine my reaction when, this evening at our lovely Michigan resort where my parents’ cabin is only a few steps from our own (one of the major perks of coming up here), my Mom mentioned that the burning smell from a nearby campfire reminded her of burning chicken feathers (yuck) followed by, “You should have heard Doug recently when I said I wouldn’t mind having four or five chickens.”
WHAT? (Which is apparently also what my brother said.)
And also, that cracking sound you just heard? That was hell freezing over.
I’m sorry, but chickens? The bane of my mother’s existence for much of her youth? The provocation for the “I hate chickens” story that we heard every time an old photo album with a photo of her feeding said chickens was brought out?
When I mentioned this, she said, “But now they have those nice little chicken houses, and we could have one down the hill from the house and have fresh eggs.”
Oh my god. I think all those alien abduction stories may be true. They’ve clearly mixed up my mother’s body with someone who likes to raise chickens and possibly even (gasp!) GARDEN!
She did say she still refuses to have hogs, though.