Chopping Chicken Coconuts.

Posted: April 23, 2010 in Stories, Uncategorized
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Recently I have been having a friendly online banter with my extended family about barnyard chores and dirty diapers.  The following is a short slightly embellished tale of my chicken raising days back on the homestead in North Idaho.

“Hold it hold it hold it.  I am being forced to add my cluck to the squawking because after all I was the official Protector of Poultry,  the Helper of Hennery, the Top Cop of the Cockalorum. My brothers and sister didn’t call me Chicken Boy for anything…oh wait that might have meant something different…no matter I was the Ruling Rooster of the Chicken Coop. And after I mastered taking the bat into the coop with me to protect me from the big whites we started raising Road Island Reds to which I was saluted the Big Blue Winner for my Big Red Rooster that would fly to my arm and gingerly peck seeds from my palm. I had him eating from my hands.

I am pretty sure I was the only one that had to do any work around the homestead…collecting eggs was rough work. And hey I had to feed AND water the barnyard fowl. My life was rough.

But on to the chopping block. I do distinctly remember one sunny afternoon standing with three chickens waiting in line to be systematically removed from their heads. I had the ax, Kent held the Helpless Hens upside down by their legs.  It was our job that fateful day to be the official executioners. We had been contracted by the High Mountain Mama to kill three chickens at high noon. The Block was set by the fence next the drive way next to the pond.

Our plan…#1 We would gently lay the chicken on the Block. #2 With a raiser sharp ax and a swift blow we would disengage the head from the body. #3 Before the blood began to spew onto us Kent (my younger brother) would huck the dis-headed fowl over the fence. #4 We would stand back and watch the famous Running Like a Chicken with it’s Head Cut Off.  That was our plan.

This is what happened…#1 Kent tried to lay the poor little female chicken on the block, but it kept flopping around and wouldn’t stay still. I think it may have knew what was about to happen or the blood that had been rushing to its head for the past 15 minutes was now causing it to go crazy. I thought with all the flailing around that it might disengage its own head, but that wasn’t our luck. #2 With the not so raiser sharp ax I came down upon the block of wood, completely missing the blasted chicken. The second attempt severed half of the creature’s neck and the blood started spewing, probably at a higher rate because by now all the blood in the chicken’s body was now in its beady little head. The third hack job severed the beak from the face and the fourth finally divided the rest of the neck.  #3 Kent commence to launch the headless bird over the fence hitting the top rail and bouncing the feathered bloody frenzy back at us. #4 We ran for our lives as the blood curdling squawking hen came after us like our worst nightmare.

The bird did finally die and we may have some how commenced to execute the other two in a far less PETA offensive way. Kent held the chickens by the legs, I put my foot on its head, clean cut, nice toss, running around.

That is my memory of my first head lopping event.  Kristine tells me I still stir in my sleep at night in cold sweats crying and mumbling something about a giant featherless and headless fowl chasing me with a dull ax screaming through it bloody gurgling neck, “You’re next, you’re next!”

It gives me chills just thinking about it.

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