Wednesday, December 10, 2003
i grew up on a farm in rural minnesota. there was more than one "chicken incident" when i was a kid. i want to like chickens, but because i was chased around my own yard by a murderous hen who wanted nothing more than to peck out my eyes, i have a slight phobia about them up close and personal. one of my secret pleasures was to hang out when my grandfather was butchering them and sort of...play with the heads. sometimes the beaks would open and close on the disembodied heads and i thought that was the greatest. there were also a few times, although i don't remember each specific incident, where the chicken would fall off the block and run around for a while with no head, which was also pretty gruesome but cool to a farm kid. those chickens that my grandfather cooked every sunday were the best chickens i have ever tasted. the only time i ever really like them was when we got the chicks in the spring. there were boxes and boxes of tiny yellow cheeping puffballs all begging to be held. my mom would always bring a bunch of them to my classroom at school and i was the most popular girl for the day. some little pansy city girl would always want to hold one of the baby chickens and then completely flip out when she realized it had sharp claws or crapped on her hand or something. that made me feel tough.