May. 12, 2020

NO ONE SHOULD ENJOY KILLING ANYTHING---EVEN A CHICKEN!

One of my mother’s favorite expressions, whether kidding or serious, was “If you don’t behave, I’m going to wring your neck.” 

I hated that expression; it conjured up memories from the past—sickening memories of visiting Aunt Mag and her husband, Uncle John. They lived on a farm in Jackson, Missouri and Aunt Mag was not my real Aunt, she was actually my Grandmother Heist’s Aunt. Thank goodness we only saw those relatives  every three or four years. I despised visiting them.

Aunt Mag was a small, stooped, older woman who believed in raising everything they ate; she prided herself on having the fattest and most delicious chickens in Missouri.

I can’t erase the picture of her going to the crowded chicken yard, grabbing a hen by its neck and violently whipping it around, until the chicken’s head came off in her hand. She would immediately drop the headless body which always hit the ground, running. And, she encouraged everyone to watch...as she smiled.

The poor headless chicken would frantically run in circles—“like a chicken with its head cut-off ”—until it collapsed-dead on the ground. It was one of the most barbaric, most frightening scenes from my childhood.

I never ate one bite of food at Aunt Mag's house. I never thought of Aunt Mag as a strong, independent woman; I thought of her as a heartless bully...a sick monster. 

I believe she enjoyed her ultimate power over those poor, little chickens.  She always smiled as she was slinging that chicken around with its head in her hand. Her demonic smile told me she was actually enjoying “the kill”.