A recent story in the Landmark about the chicken who may or may not have come home to roost on Uvedale Road (and I will presume she is somewhere safe and away from the chopping block) reminded me of when I was a little girl an Selbourne (that’s how we spelled it then) Road and our neighbors had a chicken coop.

I don’t remember how many chickens there were, but I was told they had them as a money-saving project – they would get the eggs and eventually slaughter them for food.

Although I never saw the chickens lay eggs, they would magically appear – a science lesson first hand. How long they were there, I don’t know, but I do remember one would escape from time to time and the great chase was on – with the chicken always losing.

I thought they were pets and didn’t want to know they would eventually meet their demise, until the fatal day when the end had come for one of the feathered friends.

Seems our neighbor hadn’t quite “chopped” well enough in one fell whack, because the poor bird leapt off the chopping block with her head half on, brining to mind the phrase “running around like a chicken with her head cut off.”

It was not a pretty sight and stays with me to this day, which is why I prefer buying chicken at the store and tell myself that is how they always looked.

In order to put the poor thing out of her misery and stop the crying of my neighbor’s daughter and myself, a gun appeared. Our neighbor was an auxiliary policeman, so he was “armed.”

Our neighbor couldn’t do it so my father proclaimed he would do the deed; but first, he sent us into the house. I covered my ears and the bird’s soul went up to hen heaven.

Needless to say I never ate chicken or eggs at our neighbors’ house.