'Twas on a brisk, late Autumn day--
When leaves along the lane did play,
When empty stalks stood left alone--
We set out from our humble home.
Setting out on noble quest
At our dear grandfather's behest,
We sought a means of sustenance
As noble forbears were wont, once.
Like them, our tools were few and plain,
Yet we did hope great things to gain;
And so we entered edifice grand,
Fear betrayed only by a trembling hand.
This task would much of us require:
Courage, and toiling without tire.
We did not know if we were ready,
But my trembling hand I forced to steady.
We began to stalk our prey,
(The youngest of us looked most fey
With face hid 'neath a mask of black)
And as a group we forced them back.
They scattered--we each chased a victim;
They probably never knew what hit them.
First one, then two, until all ten
Had been grasped tight, and taken in.
On to their dismal fate they rode--
Though if they realized it, never showed--
And we, feeling villains all,
Began to regret Grandfather's phone call.
But committed now, and turning not
From this course with horrors fraught,
The bravest our one weapon did wield,
And to the blade a neck did yield.
No Gothic terror from period of Romance
Could frighten more than this macabre dance.
Now to old phrase new meaning was given:
"Running round without head, like a chicken."
We pushed on through the ugly task
Until one soul exclaimed at last:
"Through all days which to me remain,
I ne'er shall taste of chicken again!"
Words uttered in haste were quick forgot
When two weeks later mother brought
To the table fresh chicken pot pie,
Which not a soul chose to deny.
We only had to catch and kill ten chickens that day--my brothers would later have to do a couple hundred in 2-3 days. Nate says he still has nightmares from that one.
While it was a gruesome experience, those ten chickens were a huge blessing, because we had just used all the money we had to move to Pennsylvania, and we needed food to last until the next paycheck. I guess God just wanted to see if we really wanted to eat...