Where do I begin.
Thanks to my Grandparents, Great Aunts and Uncles and my most Modern Mom and Dad I became interested in Farm Animals.
As a child I grew up watching my grandmother, a Danish Lady, and her flock of chickens of ALL genders, colors and sizes. She would come out with her apron billowing and filled with corn she had dried and a variety of greens, "not fit for humans but fine for chickens" she'd say , scattering it all about the chickens swarming around her legs. She would have her foot ready for the brave rooster that would challenge her throws of food, trying to fly up and get it before the rest could stampede.
It began when I was three. Tall enough to reach into the nest boxes and retrieve the still warm eggs of different colors. It was just like Easter every time I visited my Grandparents. I was allowed, as Mum put it, as she refused to be called a grandmother, to rake the yard of fertilizer she would compost and use on her vegetable garden. Back then, nothing was intentionally thrown away or left to rot without some use. Her garden flourished! We used straw to bed the chickens down in their cubicles my Grandfather made. Since they were a source of food and gave a source of food, my Grandfather thought they deserved a coop to live in. A sturdy structure protected from the rain storms and fury of winter storms. The structure, my Mother said, was "as strong as any house built for humans"! Painted green with garden boxes filled with petunias and daffodils. Pop, my Grandfather of Indian and German decent, got tired of chasing the goats away from eating Mum's flowers so he built a fence around them.
The goats had a use too. She would milk them and made the most delicious cheese which she spread on out of the oven baked bread she made daily. She used the milk in Danish recipes she never tired of making. Since they didn't have a cow they drank of goats milk. Mum said it was better for us. "Anyway", she'd say, "cows are expense". I don't know if I ever had goat to eat. Mum was pretty careful, probably getting instructions from my parents, about the slaughter of the animals. However,
one day I came upon her swinging something around like a helicopter blade. Mum had a chicken by the neck, swinging it above her head like a lasso. That was the day she explained to me that people have to eat too. The chickens gave us eggs as well as meat and that's why that are treated so well. She did have a way with words and I don't remember a feeling fear or panic. I just hesitated to go out in the chicken yard when she said we were having chicken for dinner! As I became older it didn't bother me but I still can't do it.
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