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Chickens, Dogs and the State Fair

We had thirteen dogs, onehundred fifty chickens, forty hogs and piglets, three horses, two mules, 20 guinea fowl,  six cows ( including Bessy) and two cats.

In the Autumn of every year mama would enter her canned jar fruit and vegetables and meats to be judged in the State Fair.  I was in Girl Scouts, Home Economics and 4-H clubs. To give me some experience , mama put me  in charge of the chickens and eggs on the  farm,  therefore, I entered my prize poultry in the contest.  Mama and I would win blue ribbons every year.

I remember one year when it was almost time for the Fair.  We begun to prepare a month before the Fair would come to town to be sure we would win our blue ribbons! 

 One  day we were on our way down the dirt road coming from the bus stop out on the main high way.  We saw what appeared to be birds lying in the road.   Mama said, "Oh,  My GOD!" ,  She dropped her packages and hurried home.  When we arrived  home she rushed us indoors. I was crying so hard I was out of breath, after seeing all the carnage on the road.  My heart was broken. They were not birds, they were my prize chickens.   We peeked out of the windows.  Mama was outside shooting the gun.  I went to the door and opened it and saw  mama  low crawling on the ground waiting to line up on the dogs that had run  under the house.   I sent the younger children to the front room to stand on the fireplace hearth.  We heard the shots being fired but I really didn't  know  what was happening until I saw mama with my own eyes shooting those other dogs under the house.  When she was finished she came in and relaxed on the couch with the rifle in her hands with such a release of what appeared to have been pressure.  She was like a pressure cooker  most of the time.  She slouched for approximately twenty minute and blew a long breath of wind from her mouth.  Her lips bubbled like rubber.  This was her sigh of satisfaction.

Thirteen dog were dead that day along with my prize chickens.  I wonder how those dogs knew  those chickens had been separated from the main coop for a special purpose.

Daddy came home and went back in the bottom woods and dug a burial ground for the dogs and the chickens.   Mama took me to town and bought some chickens.  Our other chickens were for selling and  egg sales on Saturday;  for eating and reproducing.

I never felt good about the State Fair any more.  Yes, I won, or should I say those chickens won a red ribbon. I have always thought the judges knew that I did not raise those chickens.  I stopped entering the Fair competitions and spent time raising funds  and my grades.  The best grades went  on a bus trip to Washington, DC. in the Spring of the next year. Mama  would work with us on getting grades. She would  take us out to raise money selling candy and cookies, but only if the grades were right.

We had a lot of fun in Washington.  The trip was quite an education too.  Mama went and she kept every body laughing, except the principal.  They just never got along.  Mama was a strange one, who was loved by so many people.  Everyone except the principal. 

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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

Downloads: 1407

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