This week, we ended up with four dozen eggs sitting in the refrigerator. We don't have chickens, but many of our friends do and it seems like this is the week we've reaped the bounty of those friendships.
I don't want chickens. We've thought about it, but we live in an area where coyotes howl just beyond the cast of the light from the front porch. We have no fence and no intention of putting one up.
Our new dog will chase anything that flees from him and I know to keep him far from our neighbors' poultry.
I've stepped in enough chicken poop and plucked enough wet feathers to know that I don't want to go that route again. Besides, our friends need a repository for their extra eggs. I'm willing to fill that role.
When I was very small we got a bunch of chicks, most of which turned out to be male — cockerels. They were terrifying to a child of three or four.
My grandparents lived across the farm road from us and every morning, I'd take my box of cereal across and have breakfast with my grandfather.
I'd quietly go to the front gate, unlatch it and run as fast as I could to my grandparents' front gate, praying I could get the latch open before the hoard of chickens pecked me to death. One day I saw them heading my way and my only escape was up into my dad's boat in the carport.
I don't remember how long I had to stay in the boat before I could come down and get into the house. I do remember my other grandfather showing me the one-handed chicken garrot when I was young. I was never big enough to be able to do that.
We did have other batches of chickens, ducks and geese. Again, I hated the mess they made if they got into the backyard. We even made some pretty good pets of feathered friends. Quacky was a duck that comes to mind. He was best friends with our Doberman pincher — a strange pair.
Once my sister, Julie, was attacked by a rooster when she was about three years old in an equipment yard where Dad kept his baling equipment off of the farm. I remember the old guy whose house was attached to the yard chasing off the rooster with a hoe.
The next time we went with Dad to service his baler, the old guy came out of the house with a covered plate. He said, "Julie, I have a wonderful surprise for you!"
He lifted the dishtowel to reveal a plate full of delicious fried rooster. It was his gift of chivalry to my sister. I remember it being very good.
Now I need to come up with a few recipes for the four dozen eggs in my refrigerator.