Saturday, November 17, 2012


I have no idea what possessed us--but this cute little chicken popped her head up one day, while we were in the pet store looking -- really for nothing.. We had no intention of buying a pet, but thought it would be fun to go in and have a look!  Before we knew it...we were the proud family owners of a little yellow small, so defenseless, and so able to wrap its little
baby chick claws around our hearts!

We took her home and bedded her down in a cardboard box in our large central hallway.  We put in some shredded paper for her to try to make into a bed, and a small container of water.  The pet shop people had advised us on what to feed her, by memory I think it was special pellets.  Then we just sat there on the floor admiring her, and trying to decide what to call her.  At last it hit us!  KFC!  A perfect name for a perfect little chick.

At the time we were taking weekend trips down to our beachhouse, so it was only natural that we would take KFC with us!  She was just a baby and needed our attention.  KFC would sit in her box on the backseat with Maddie, and all 4 of us would head off.  Night-time on a Saturday night there, usually meant that after dinner we would head downstairs to watch a video we had hired. So settling ourselves on the couch, there would be me, Maddie squeezed in next to me, so that she could hold and rub my hair--her sleepy thing, and Chris, with KFC on his shoulder.  She would snuggle into Chris' neck and doze, sometimes having little accidents on his shirt, but we just cleaned him off.  She was KFC and our baby!

This went on for a few weeks, and then KFC started to 'chicken-fy'--she grew longer legs, and her lovely yellow fuzz was turning into a rich brownish coating of feathers.   Our girl was beginning to grow up!  She graduated from her box to a largish wire cage which I had used at one stage for a pet cockatoo.  She still lived in our hallway, but as she was getting older she wasn't quite so convenient for travelling. While we still loved holding her and cuddling her, it was a new stage of development for her and us!  As time passed she graduated to living outside in a bird aviary that we had.  After we decided that we liked the idea of having more chickens, Chris built a chicken yard, and KFC's aviary became a refuge from the weather for the newly arrived chickens if they ever needed was in there that they laid their eggs.

KFC, being the first chicken, obviously was boss, and she taught the other fledglings how this world worked--of course she was very partial to us--she was our first born chick!  At the time Jock was our only Border Collie, and he and KFC were fairly good friends.  Each morning as either Maddie or Chris emptied the 'chook' dish into the chook house, (a combination of vegetable scrapings and scraps from the meal on the previous night), Jock would stand guard as the eggs were gathered, and then nodding to KFC, he would leave the pen with his majestic tail in the air.  What attitude!

Life continued this way for a while, until it was discovered that I needed surgery for a fairly serious condition, followed by a long recovery at home.

During the recovery period, I would often walk outside in the back garden to get some sun, and to talk to the 'girls'.  It was at this point that I noticed that KFC wasn't her usual self.  She often sat by herself on the ground, and just seemed quiet--not her usual behaviour. 

For a few days I would wander into the chook yard and just sit with KFC, rubbing her tummy and urging her to lift her head and walk around.  For a while she would do just that, but eventually she would just lay down again.  I remember spending a lot of time with her, and talking to the other 'girls' as I did so, explaining that they needed to take care with KFC, and to nurture her.  When I held KFC in my lap, while sitting on the ground in the chook yard, she would be so happy, and try so hard to be her old self, but I knew that when I left, she would just lay down again.

Unfortunately the day arrived when KFC just didn't wake up, or try to move..she just quietly died.  The other chooks looked at her, but didn't bother her or go near her--I like to think that they too were sad at her loss.

We buried KFC in a small plot on the far side of our driveway.  Somehow, even though I enjoyed our other chooks, and even taught Red how to climb a small ladder of branches I had put in the wire mesh of the chook yard, and then taught her to jump off the highest branch, which was a great trick--it wasn't the same as having KFC greet us everyday...some pets are very noticeable in their absence.  That was KFC!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baseball and Prunes

When I was about 10 I chose to go to a camp run by my church, instead of going to the Girl Scout Camp that some of my friends were going to - don't really know why- maybe because it was a long distance away from home, and I was definitely my own individual--guess I just wanted the challenge.

A few kids from my church came also--but I was put in a cabin with about 6 other girls and didn't know a single one..suited me just fine.  I could invent me if I wanted to--but mainly I just wanted to relax and have fun, and not be forced to build campfires, or try to earn more stupid cloth badges--I was definitely getting sick of that!  I earned a badge for roller skating!  I had been roller skating for half my life already--and on the real ones--the key lock on sort!  Why did I need a badge to prove it!

We had 6 single beds in our cabin-and we were each responsible for making our beds, and taking care of our belongings--that was OK.  I knew about this stuff--I tried to make my bed one day, and make it so tucked in that I could drop a coin on it and it would bounce--like in the army--but I didn't have a quarter.  Maybe if I had a nickel the 5 cent part may have worked in my favour, but my thin, small dime didn't do anything but just lay there--I figured a bouncing coin test needed the weight of a quarter, which at bed making time wasn't easy to come by!  Anyway, the 10 cent piece didn't bounce as I had hoped, but my bed was tight! (It's worth noting here that our cabin won first place in neatness--I think by the end of camp we cabin - mates all tried to bounce our coins--must have been some great army trick!)

The only problem with going to a church camp was that at times there were sort of bible lessons-which was OK, because they were like stories and sometimes they were good stories, but the main problem was a girl who always sat behind me, as we sat on the floor under the covered area.  As it was a camp, there were always bugs, and in this covered area, there were a lot of Daddy Long Legs.  Now I HATE spiders--even more so back then.  So this girl - no- this yucky awful girl would make sure she would find a way to sit behind me, and she would capture these spiders, and pull their legs off, and throw their bodies at me!  It was awful, right!!  And this was in bible class!  I mean --who was this girl!  After about the third day, I couldn't take it anymore, and I just jumped up and yelled out loudly that this girl was killing God's Creatures and torturing me with them.  The whole place went quiet--briefly..then I just ran out.

Well, the girl was given a "a good talking to" and I was calmed down...but told that if I didn't want to attend the bible classes every day, it was OK--that was a good thing I thought--so I explored a lot when I didn't like the idea of the story that day...pretty good camp experience so far! 

In mid mornings, after our cafeteria hall breakfasts, we would have these bible classes, then go off to play sport--especially baseball. I wasn't a good batter, but I was a terrific runner and would often play outfield .....  It was fun. It reminded me of home where I played as a kid with my neighbourhood friends, and was the chosen runner, instead of batting--some kid would bat, and if they were lousy runners I would run for them---made sense to us!

Well, back to breakfast - every morning as we sat down at our assigned tables set out with cutlery and breakfast dishes, along with jugs of juice and milk, there were also small bowls of prepared fruit pieces by each plate.  On this particular day, the chosen  fruit was prunes.  We were expected to eat all of our small fruit pieces--but prunes weren't going to be a good fruit choice that day for a lot of the campers. Me?  I loved prunes!  So I offered to eat as many of the tables' prunes as I could so that we could be excused--and I did--just never knew what the consequences would be.

It was the game of the week that day--we were almost winning--but suddenly my tummy started to rumble, and I felt funny. I was in my usual place in outfield, and was waiting for a ball to come my way, when suddenly I just knew that something else was about to come my way.  I shifted nervously from foot to foot, and knew that I was in trouble....the toilet block was just off to the left of the field, and I was hoping like anything that this inning was going to end soon--but it just kept happening--I was fidgeting more and more, and the uneasy feeling I had wasn't getting any better.

Suddenly I just threw my mitt down on the ground, threw my arm up in the air and ran like mad to that toilet block....just in time! There was a major explosion from my backside as I skid onto one of the toilets--it was like I had just made my own home run! By the time I emerged from the toilets, the game was over, our team had lost, and I was told by the coach that eating over 25 plus prunes was never a good idea before a game. I sort of knew that by then, but all the same--it was a lesson--bet the girl scout camp wasn't giving away badges for learning that!