I like to listen to Prairie Home Companion on Saturday nights (except when he gets "political"), and I was just on the website. On last Saturday's show, he told a story about his childhood and having a pet chicken named Francine. The sound effects guy got the clucking sound really perfectly. Here's a resulting letter to the show: CHICKENS Hi - did Garrison actually own a pet chicken as a child? He sounded so sincere on Saturday's show, and Francine seemed so delightful, I'm curious. Thanks for any info, Patsey M. I'm glad I was able to convince you, Patsey, and now that you're writing in for confirmation, I feel that I ought to lie to you and say, yes, Francine was a real chicken and she saved my life once in a blizzard, but for some reason I am in a truthful mood, it being Holy Week and all, and so the answer is: no. We ate chickens in our family. My father cut their heads off with a hatchet, chickens that I personally caught with a coat hangar, chased them and hooked them by their ankles and brought them flapping to the chopping block where he dispatched them and handed them off to my mother who dipped them in boiling water and stripped their feathers and then performed the autopsy. I'm sure there were children who had pet chickens, delightful ones, but I was never so delighted by animals. They are very good to make up stories about, though, and so we do. Often. We can say whatever we like about chickens and they will never write us fussy letters or call up their lawyers. Chickens are cool with fiction.