Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chicken Stories

(an email sent to my siblings)

Dearest Sibs,
As you can see below I have been chastised into participating in these marvelous emails. I really do enjoy them. I was just reading them when Diane came in and woke me up so I could finish. Not that the emails put me to sleep, it's just been a long day (Ward Youth Conference) and my computer is right by the heater vent and we just had dinner and I stayed up late last night and you know how it is... sometimes I just go to sleep!

So, I beat you all to the punch with this chicken thing... I think I sent you all this link (click here) about my favorite chicken recipe but you may not remember. Kind of like Crystal finding my blog (that she has read and even commented on several times in the past!!). What's up with that?!?!?

So, my memories of the ranch... I didn't like it. Well, actually, I didn't mind it most of the time, but I didn't like that I couldn't play football or wrestle because Dad said I had chores to get home to do. I mostly played on the ranch in Highland. I think the only chore I had there was keeping the water full in the turkey pen. And I think Dad did it too, Maybe it was just he would let me do it once in awhile. Or maybe I just wanted to play with the water and I remember it as if it was a chore! So, that and I had to pick up the rocks off the lawn before Dad would mow. But I am the one who put the rocks there so it was really just picking up after myself.

I do remember the Indian tribe in Highland that the girls invented. I think we did rain dances and I seem to remember we even had a language for them. They must have been strange Indians to live on a chicken ranch. I hope they enjoyed the eggs we rolled out to them in the grass because it sure made Dad excited when he found them!

In Yucaipa I did a little more work. Wasn't too fond of scraping the poop off the boards but it was honest work and kept me from being broke. If I recall, I started out at 25 cents an hour. And was I lucky to earn that! My boss had to work on his Dad's ranch for room and board!!! Ah, things were good when I was a kid.

I remember having to spread the feed in the evening and there was one chicken that would peck at my hand every time I went by. It got to where it made me really mad and one time when it got me good I stopped and grabbed her by the neck and slapped her up side the head. Now, I don't know how he did it, but every time I did something like that I'd look up and there would be Dad. Anyway, I explained that that hen always pecked at me and he said "what do you expect, you've got your hand in her supper"! And then he followed with something like "don't hit my chickens or I'll something, something you..." I don't remember the exact words, but you get the drift.

Once at the beach I found a rock that looked kind of like an egg and I brought it home an put it out with the eggs for Dad to find when he gathered eggs. He thought that was pretty funny. He had it sitting in the egg house for a long time.

I learned a lot about responsibility working on that ranch. When I moved my family back to Yucaipa in 1982 I built a little coop and put in about 6 hens and told the kids to keep them fed and watered or they would die. I wanted to teach them the same responsibility I had learned. You have to take care of animals or they will die! They don't just get mad at you, or pout, or go to their friend's house to eat, they DIE. I was sure my kids would be good chicken ranchers. After all, it was in their blood! Well it went pretty well for a couple of weeks. And then they started dieing. So I gathered up what remained of the flock and put them in the cab of my truck and drove up the street and threw them over the fence of some yard that had chickens. I talked to that guy a few years later and told him what I had done and said I thought he had probably been pretty surprised to find more chickens in his yard. Hahahaha... but he said "not really... it happened all the time. Even got a goat once that way". Guess I wasn't the only one trying to teach responsibility.

So, there is my entry for tonight. Thank you, Crystal, for getting me off my duff. It was a thrill to think of chicken stories. Now I have to go clean my office. My wife thinks I need to pick up after myself. But first I think I will sing a little to the clutter and maybe even do a little rain dance.

Love to all,

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