How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Conversations About Chicken Poop

I spent this summer evening conversing with my four year old granddaughter, Miley. She found a pile of old  family photos I have been scanning and she took it as her mission to study each and every one and ask questions. She came upon one photo of my cousin, Randy, and my brother, Mike, The photo was taken at my Aunt Ruby’s house on the Mill Village in Hawkinsville, GA in 1968 while my dad was in Vietnam.  Aunt Ruby used to babysit my brother and my three cousins while our mothers worked at the local hospital.

Aunt Ruby was a huge woman, soft and round as dough. She wore scuffed down shoes and cotton house dresses, and she dipped prodigious amounts of C&C snuff. Every afternoon Aunt Ruby would switch the black and white television set on and wait while it hummed to life so she could watch her afternoon “stories”, including Dark Shadows. The opening strains of the music to Dark Shadows would crackle out of the old television set and I would run and hide behind Aunt Ruby, peeking out only long enough to a catch a glimpse of Barnabas Collins’s bared fangs. Aunt Ruby would shoo us children out into the backyard where she kept the chickens. The white, mottled chickens and a large, slow tortoise had the full run of the backyard.  We tried to ride the tortoise, unsuccessfully, and  to avoid the chicken shit that covered the dirt yard like a carpet, also unsuccessfully.

Anyway, Miley saw the photo of Mike and Randy and wanted to know who was in the photo and what they were doing.  I explained to Miley that it was my brother and my cousin and that they were in Aunt Ruby’s back yard playing in chicken poop. She wrinkled her nose and said, Ewwww..”. 

She then asked, “Can we go there?”
“It’s all gone now. The house was torn down years ago.”
“Where did the chickens go?”
“Aunt Ruby ate them.”
“All of them?”
Yep, all of them. She wrung their necks until their necks flopped over, then she cut their heads off, plucked their feathers and fried them up for dinner.”
“But they were poopy chickens!”
“Yes, they were. We’ll go to the Mill Village and see where the house stood tomorrow if you want.”
Miley studied the photograph again and declared, “We can go, but I don’t want to play in chicken poop.”

There is not another person on the entire planet that I could have a conversation like this with. 

The next conversation was held in whispered tones while Miley tried to figure out the logistics of  how her Gigi (me) was once married to Papa Rick  and is now married to Granddaddy,  but Gigi's boyfriend lives next door...(that's what I tell her Scott, one of my BFF's, is).

 I wrote this entire entry while Miley chattered away incessantly about kittys, babydolls, why it doesn't snow in summer, if men can wear dresses, and why she has curly hair....


  1. I can still remember chasing those chickens around the yard so that Aunt Ruby could ring their necks and cook them for dinner. You describe everything perfectly. Chicken shit everywhere, old dogs in the yard, and whatever we could find under the house. Do you remember that electic fence around her yard,and sometimes they would forget to unplug it when we there, Randy got shocked by it a few times. If Aunt Ruby babysat us today, she would be in jail, but those were some of my fondness memories when i was a small child and look how well we all turned out!

  2. Tammy, thank you so much for confirming all of this. When I tell people about it they think I'm lying.

    And now I know what's wrong with Randy!! lol!!