Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Chicken Episode (#120)

Things happen in life that are difficult to assimilate when our perspective is violated by reality. In 1959, I was 4 years old and our family was living in downtown Sacramento. Since I was too young to go to school I was home during the day and my parents kept some chickens in the backyard. You could do that back then without being harassed by neighbors. Since my older brothers were at school and my younger brother barely two I occupied myself with playing with the chickens in the backyard. They became my friends. Well, one day my biological father came home and decided that it was time to put the chickens to use as food. When I realized what my father was doing, I became hysterical and tried to defend the chickens from the chopping block. I was told to knock it off. Well, I wasn't going to knock it off and continued to protest and defend the chickens. Of course my father paid me little attention and began to prepare the chickens to meet their maker. I then gave my parents an ultimatum, leave the chickens alone or I was leaving, wanting nothing to do with a family that was so cruel to my friends the chickens and insensitive to my pleas for them to be spared. My father, who saw the opportunity to teach me something, said that I would just have to leave because the chickens were not going to be spared. So a pole with a bandanna was prepared with some of my clothing put inside and it was given to me. I readily took the traveling pole on my shoulder and started down the alley and out to the next street. It was then that I realized I didn't know where to go and a feeling of resignation engulfed me. I turned back and went home with the sad knowledge that I could do very little to change what was going to happen to the chickens. My parents were watching me so I was never out of their sight. With spirit broken and the realization that what I thought was good and right, was not enough to change the reality of the chickens ending up in the pot. The moral of this story is that regardless of what appears altruistic, ideals at times will be secondary to the realities of other necessities. Harumph.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had to comment on this Son because knowing how you feel about animals, I can feel the sadness you felt as a young boy. I do remember this and wish you didn't have to go thru that, but at the time we did need to eat and food wasn't so plentiful. Love you Son, Love Mom