Don’t shoot the chickens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Exactly what happened to make, me say what I did, I’m not sure.

Could have been the brain freezie I got from that lemon-berry slush. It was a hot and humid night and I slurped it down. I knew better but I couldn’t help myself.

I don’t understand brain freezies but then I don’t understand a lot of things like how my voice can travel through the telephone lines all the way from my house to the Badlands of South Dakota and how an airplane can stay in the sky and how French fries can make you fat.

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But a brain freezie seemed the most logical reason that I momentarily lost my senses.

My friend Annette asked me to ride with her to Wal-Mart in Ozark after church. I didn’t have any business at Wal-Mart but I went along for the ride and a lemon-berry slush.

I looked at a few things but didn’t see a thing that caught my eye so I waited for Bannie at the checkout.

As I waited, up came another friend, Kathy.

“What are you doing down here in Ozark?” she asked.

“I came with Annette to buy some biddy feed…”

After a long pause, I responded to Kathy’s puzzled gaze.

“Well, that’s not exactly right,” I said. “Annette didn’t come for biddy feed. She came to get chemicals for her pool. She doesn’t have any chickens and I don’t think they sell biddy feed at Wal-Mart anyway. I don’t have chickens either but then I do … kinda.”

Kathy and her husband didn’t linger to hear the rest of the babbling. If they had, I would have explained that we do have chickens around the house. Wild chickens. Nobody knows where they came from but they are there.

For a long while, Sis and I thought it was an armadillo that was tearing up the plans of salvation but then a rooster started to “alarm” us every morning and soon he, the mother hen and three chicks started flaunting themselves around the yards.

We don’t feed our feathered friends so how biddy feed got scrambled around in my head that Sunday night, I’m not sure. But, we’ve gotten kind of attached to the wild chickens much the way we’ve gotten attached to the four cats that somebody gifted to us.

When I opened the screen door late one moonless night, a wild beast leaped straight up in my face.

At first, I thought it was an armadillo because they jump straight up like that, but, when my heart got out of my throat and I could see a little better, I saw two small cats high tailing it across the yard and under Sis and Bubba’s house.

Evidently, someone had put the two cats between the screen door and the wood door as a Jack-in-the box surprise for this ol’ gal. There were two other cats left behind that night for us to feed, water and stumble over.

And, we’ve gotten kind of fond of them, too, and probably more so than the chickens.

Cats are soft, cuddly and loving. Chickens will squawk, flutter, scratch and peck and you can’t get within twenty feet of them even if you wanted to.

If we could find the nest, we’d have yard eggs for breakfast but so far they’ve managed to keep the nest hidden from us.

And it would be wise for them to keep out of sight, too, because now they are in danger of dying.

The “law” is after them. It seems that ferocious feathered family has been terrorizing the neighbors and an officer was sent to shoot them.

Sis explained that they’re not really our chickens, just wild things, but still we don’t want them shot.

They haven’t done anything to get the death penalty. We’ve asked for a stay of execution.

Of course there’s no way to keep chickens from prancing and pecking, at least that’s what we thought until we began to surf the Internet.

It seems that the National Band & Tag Company in Newport, Ky. developed a device that could keep the wild chickens from any vicious behavior. Chicken glasses.

The glasses have red, celluloid shields that render the chickens color blind and they can’t detect flesh and blood and thereby their “common evil is controlled.”

The chicken glasses are strong, durable, and rustproof with stainless steel attachment pins.

That could be the answer, if we could pen the chickens and put glasses on them, the neighbors wouldn’t have to be afraid of being peck to a pulp and the chickens would not be executed.

But sadly, there was small print at the bottom of the advertisement for chicken glasses.

This page is from our catalog from 1940. We no longer make these and they are not available for sale.

Such disappointment but we found that there are several companies that make a high quality brand of biddy feed.

But we won’t need biddy feed either if the executioner comes to shoot our chickens.

Jaine Treadwell is the features editor for The Messenger. She can be reached at