1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Chickens Never Forget

Deceptively nice looking hen. goaim.org

Deceptively nice looking hen.

Daddy-O managed to upset the great chicken spirits not once, but twice. And twice, the chicken spirits used dead chicken bodies to take their wrath out on innocent me, instead of Dad.

Dad's chickens were white. survivalfarm.wordpress.ccom

Dad’s chickens were white.

While living with Great-Aunt Mary, Dad filled her empty chicken coop with chickens. David and I fought over gathering the eggs. Finding eggs is a challenge, since hens like hiding them. I wanted to let a few hatch, but Dad said they weren’t fertile and would rot.

I snatched three eggs and incubated them for a few weeks under a clump of hay outside the coop. Dad turned out to be right.

Who turned the lights out? Bob Landry-Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Who turned the lights out?
Bob Landry-Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The chickens continued living happily in their coop until one beautiful sunny fall day when Dad chopped their heads off.

He set a wooden block beside Aunt Mary’s garage, and one-by-one, laid each chicken’s neck across it. David helped hold them still. I watched in horror as the hatchet came down. And the red on the hatchet wasn’t paint.

The scenario got worse. Their headless zombie bodies jumped up and ran. One torso smacked into the side of the garage. Dad and David laughed as it bounced off the wall, got up, and plowed into it again.

“Murderers,” I screamed.

“Get on out of here,” Dad said. “Go into the garage with your mother and Aunt Mary.

I presume my banishment came because I wouldn’t stop screaming, or begging him to stop the beheading. I retreated with a parting shout of murderers.

I walked into the garage and found dead chickens swinging by their legs from the ceiling, like bare-naked trapeze artists. Mom and Aunt Mary dunked the headless bodies into hot water before stringing them up. Half-heartedly and under duress, I helped pull pinfeathers off.

It's not my fault you taste so good! perdue.com

It’s not my fault you taste so good!

Despite their gruesome demise, our baked-chicken supper that night tasted mighty yummy and extremely fresh.

Revenge of The Chicken Spirits

The chicken population never forgot Dad’s head chopping or childhood chicken-submarines (The Pranksters). They bided their time and lay low for over forty years. And then they took their revenge out on me.

Fast forward: Our local grocery store was fairly deserted due to ongoing renovations. A large woman leaned with her butt against the chicken cooler, beckoning me toward her and the possessed chicken torsos.

Possessed chicken body. blogs.riverfronttimes.com

Possessed chicken body.

“Would you stand beside me?” she asked, as I drew close. “I don’t feel well, and the last time I felt this way I had a seizure.”

She immediately stiffened up and leaned backwards, ready to plop on top of the fresh chicken. I heroically pulled to keep her out of the cooler, so she wouldn’t worsen an already embarrassing situation.

She slumped against my right shoulder with all her weight, reached over and put a death-grip on my left wrist, and drooled on the floor.

“Help,” I yelled.

A bakery worker coming out with a load of buns heard me and ran to dial 911. The woman went into a grand mal seizure and began kicking me, until we both dropped to the floor. I admit I was conscious of the drool and avoided it.

She continued thrashing violently, then suddenly went limp, making a guttural sound. The bakery lady squatted down and cautiously peaked into the woman’s face.

“She’s asleep,” voiced the bakery report. “The sound is snoring.”

A bit too late, the paramedics and other grocery workers arrived to take over the woman’s care.

Your hero’s doctor report: I suffered a tiny bone out of place in my wrist, a bruised body, and various strained muscles. The important thing is I kept the lady out of the chicken cooler.

Vengeful chickens weren’t done with me yet.

Watch out! You could be next! forums.thedailywtf.com

Watch out! You could be next!

Three weeks later, I returned to another store in the same grocery chain, and foolishly leaned over the chicken cooler. (Note to self: Stay away from Price Chopper chicken). A large sign hung overhead, advertising a chicken sale. One end swung down, hitting the top of my head like a tomahawk with a homing signal. I saw stars, got a large bump, and had a headache the remainder of the day.

Your hero’s second doctor report: The blow compacted my neck like an accordion; weeks of physical therapy needed. I was being stalked by Price Chopper zombie-chickens. Years of mental therapy needed, but not taken.

I cried fowl.

Lesson Learned: The innocent are sometimes forced to pay for the sins of their fathers. Thanks a lot Dad.

If the same is true for the sins of their mothers, I feel really sorry for my children!

Related Posts: Transitory Tenants (1960); Pandemonium Trail/The Pranksters

Now it’s your turn: Have you been stalked by any headless zombie creatures?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Pecora Nera says:

    A hero in the frozen chicken isle. 🙂 I am glad I was not there when your dad massacred the hens. I would still be wake up with cold sweats and screams.

    My dads aunty, used to tuck the hens head under it’s wing, rock it to sleep, and then chop it’s head off. I don’t know if they woke up and ran around!!

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Wow, Pecora, if I ever witnessed your father’s aunt’s way of beheading, I’d be afraid of rocking chairs and falling asleep. At least the hens didn’t see what was coming.

  2. Elle Knowles says:

    My grandmother raised chickens and I was scared to death of them. They never did a thing to hurt me. My cousins would rush in the chicken yard and feed the chickens and gather the eggs. I always hung back! I’m still scared of any bird that is loose.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      You are wise, Elle. Now you know that those evil chickens turn into zombie chicken spirits waiting to lure you close to the chicken cooler and bonk you on the head. I still say we have to eat them before they eat us!

  3. CJ says:

    I have my own little flock right here…and guess what, kids? NOPE, they remember lots of things…except how the heck to get from one side of the chicken-wire fencing to the other, where the food and their siblings all are…lol. THERE ARE NO hatchet murderings going on at our place..when I found out that the big Daddy-O here decided to put one of our hens out of her misery, my teenaged daughter called me at work. Great! So I laid down the law..everybody dies when they die here, on their own, and in their own good time. (If you don’t count that I have a blood-lusty labrador Hunter who methodically picked my little flock off, one at a time!)

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      CJ, we have around ten chickens. No head chopping here either. They are free-range during the day and have become pets. The only early deaths are from random hawks or foxes.

      • CJ says:

        Yes..we free-range ours, too. Finally broke that younger dog of killing them’ at least while we are home. I cannot trust the cur…spawn of Lucifer! He killed 12-15 of my chickens in about a year’s span. I have adopted a desert tortoise, Sheldon, who also ‘free ranges’ under my careful supervision. We have 6 Buff Orpingtons who are good laying hens…no eating of my chicken flock here, as they all have names, etc. 😉

  4. spunkybong says:

    And the apathy they possess, the chickens. The rest of them will be clucking around, unconcerned, as you chop one right next. You can almost hear them say,’tennis, anyone?’ 😀

  5. News Cruise 60 says:

    Reblogged this on News Cruise 60 and commented:
    A great theme here and a talented writer as well! Enjoy this story…

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Okay, Ed, you’re going to turn my head. It’ll be so inflated it’ll pop. Then I’ll have to join the headless zombie chickens.

      • News Cruise 60 says:

        Credit where credit is deserved, Skinny! I read a lot of posts and so I’m well qualified to judge the good from the very good…

        And don’t let that head pop! You are so much more than a “zombie chicken!”

        Have a good one…

        Ed 🙂

The Feedback Booth:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 239 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 19,175 hits

Copyright Notice

All Rights Reserved. Please contact me for any text and/or images.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 239 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: