Fishing for Chickens

Before we were old enough to go out and help around the farm, like our cousins, my brother and I would end up staying with Grandma. There was very little to do, so we quickly grew bored and that’s how we got in to trouble.

Grandma raised chickens in a large coop out back of the house. Each morning Adam and I would collect eggs for Grandma.

Mostly due to boredom and partly because of imagination, we created little games to play. One such game was ‘Fishing for Chickens.’

Now, I was old enough to know we didn’t want to do anything to harm Grandma’s chickens, so we didn’t use hooks. Instead, we threaded chicken feed directly onto the fishing-line.

Once threaded and using whatever sort of stick we could find as a pole, we’d toss the ‘bait’ out to the chickens as they wandered about the backyard. The goal was to get one to ‘take the bait’ and we’d ‘reel’ it in.

Amazingly, once a chicken took the feed, they refused to let it go. At the time, I thought chickens chewed their food, so I didn’t know they swallowed it whole.

We spent much of the early morning ‘reeling’ in chickens and then forcing them to let go of the ‘bait.’  Looking back, while we we’re having fun, I don’t think the chickens were all that happy – but unfortunately for them, they weren’t smart enough to refuse the ‘bait.’

Then shortly before noon, Adam and I set our minds on the big prize: Grandma’s rooster. Time after time, we tried to get the bird to take the ‘bait,’ but he simply ignored it.

Then Adam dropped the ‘bait’ right in front of the rooster and he snapped it up. He had to fight the rooster as he pulled the bird closer and closer to the porch from which we were ‘fishing.’

Once the bird was within arms reach, Adam seized it by the neck and I grabbed its wings. That’s when all hell broke loose.

The bird, in full-panic, used it’s talons to break free and in doing so, sliced both of us up. Finally, after a few pain-filled kicks, we both let it go.

Hearing the commotion, Grandma came outside to see what was going on. She found us, bleeding and the rooster racing in circles, dragging Adam’s ‘fishing pole’ behind it.

She ordered us into the house, where she cleaned our scratches and threatened to whip our backsides. Instead, she made us stand in the corner for a long-while as she went outside and rescued her rooster.

It proved unpopular, and so ‘Fishing for Chickens’ was one game we never again played.


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