I am sitting here this afternoon watching, “The Egg and I” with Claudette Colbert and Fred McMurray. I love this movie and had not seen it in a very long time, until I got it for Christmas. I have watched it many times over since then.
I grew up in the country. Some people cannot appreciate farm life. Some people don’t like the thought of chicken poop and dirt. I happen to like it and miss it. I have been transplanted to the city. Atlanta, to be exact. There are days that I get very homesick for the solitude of country living. I miss getting stuck driving behind a tractor rather than caught in traffic. I miss riding a tractor versus a car….and there is something to be said about the feel of driving a pickup.
The country affords kids a chance to do things that city life doesn’t. Growing up, I wasn’t a bad child….but I was very very mischievous. My mother told me the other day that my great nephew is just like me….they might had better watch out. I simply took the time to enjoy my surroundings and many of the animals around me.
I remember visiting my grandma’s house when I was just a young fella. She still had an outhouse. Nobody liked to use it, but it was the only bathroom. I enjoyed that outhouse….it was the source of many afternoons filled with laughter and exercise for me. That old outhouse had a hole in the wall real close to where the seats were located. As a matter of fact, the hole was just below seat level. I loved catching green snakes or any other kind of critter I could get my hands on. My aunt, at some time or other during visits to grandma, would have to go pee and I was typically camped out behind the outhouse waiting with the critter du jour. My aunt was not a small woman at all and I would wait to hear the wood groan under the weight of her substantial rump and then I would feed that green snake up through that hole. As soon as it was in a good ways, it would inevidibly send its forked tongue toward her butt. She would jump up screaming and chase me down the hill with her pants down around her ankles……I laughed the whole way. I got many a swatting for that, but it was so very worth it.
I also learned the value of not peeing on an electrically charged fence on that farm. I was standing at the entrance to the back pasture and had to go badly. I had no clue that the fence was charged. So I did what we boys always did. I took it out, and started to pee. I was knocked so far back after the electricity travelled up the stream of urine. It was worse than any groin kick I have ever experienced.
As I got older, I had learned to love working with the chickens and goats and rabbits. The only thing I never grew to love was when I worked the pig farm one summer. Really kind of took away my taste for pork for a while. That is as much as I will elaborate on that.
Pop let me buy my first chickens when I was sixteen or so. I chose Ameraucanas or as they are commonly called, Easter Egg Chickens. I had twenty one chickens in my flock, including a rooster. I loved going out in the morning to gather eggs. It was always blue, green, or pink eggs….I never knew until later that the color of the chicken’s earlobe determines the color of the egg. Most of my chickens were pretty tame and would come to me when called or follow me around the coop. Most of them…..except that rooster. That rooster was the meanest thing I had ever met. I got spurred more times than I can count. Sometimes I dream about what it would be like to have a small flock in the courtyard…..but I guess the neighbors in the other apartments might not like it as much.
Springtime with the chickens was always my favorite…..the time for chicks. I loved watching the hatching. All those fuzzy little boogers peeking their little heads out of the shells for the very first time. I loved going to visit the brooders and teaching the little ones how to drink for the first time. Watching them change on a daily basis was fascinating…seeing the down slowly replaced by feathers, watching the combs grow out, and seeing what colors the chicks would become. It was incredible seeing what nature could do.
Yes, I fell face first in chicken poop more than once….but back home they used to say that the smell of chicken sh** “was the smell of money.” I didnt so much like that smell of money. I miss having fresh eggs.