Monday, July 20, 2009

Night On The Town --- A Charming story as remembered and told by Louise F. Seely, first published in Saga of the Sanpitch 1998

It was a beautiful spring day - - - just right to begin housecleaning. Aunt Hilda always worked from the cellar up, so her first chore was to go through the fruit jars on the cellar shelves, selecting the good ones to dust and place on clean papered shelves. The fruit that hadn't kept well, that was showing signs of fermentation or mold, was opened and the contents poured into buckets to be disposed of later.

With the cobwebs swept down, shelves washed and re-papered, floors swept, and stairs scrubbed clean, the room was finally finished, the day almost spent. Hilda looked on the room with satisfaction, picked up the bucket of fruit, but just at that moment her big Plymouth Rock rooster helped himself to a beak-full of fruit. Hilda changed her mind and immediately poured the contents of the bucket into the chicken trough. This taste of fruit might be a nice change from the handsful of wheat she fed her chickens morning and night.

Hilda didn't see her chickens again until evening when she went to feed them. What she saw startled her almost beyond reason. There on the ground lay every one of her chicks; roosters, hens and spring pullets. At first glance she thought a skunk or weasel had been in her flock. On closer inspection she saw them sprawled in every unlikely position possible: some lying with wings widespread; some lying on their sides, others cramped in strange, grotesque positions with their heads under their bodies; some on their backs with legs straight in the air; and some had fallen across another's lifeless body.

Had she killed them? She knelt down and felt a body. It was warm. Then she realized she had a drunken flock of chickens. She knew just how it had happened - - - the fermented fruit, of course.

Since the bodies were still warm, her first thought was to cut their heads off and dress them, but she was too tired after her day of housecleaning. So she decided to leave them in the cool night air and finish the job in the morning.

Bright and early the next day she approached the yard and was startled to see the dead chickens up walking around - - - a little wobbly, to be sure, but up and walking. she gave them plenty of grain and fresh water, and by night they were chipper as ever. Who knows, maybe they enjoyed their "night on the town."

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