Monday, December 03, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Franch

Out in these-here-parts, most people think that meat comes in a cellophane package from the grocery store. Chickens come pre-plucked and beheaded. Most people have not stepped in manure, or realized that a dried cowpie makes a good Frisbee. If you are wondering what a cowpie is, then you are probably one of these-here people I am talking about. Although Jeff and I never saw our experiences as unique or exciting, we have been asked many times to recount various ‘Colorado stories’ in our time here. It seems that our experiences were unique or exciting, or something. So in the interest of posterity, I will write a few posts every now and then entitled “Meanwhile, Back at the Franch.” No, I did not make a typo. We were explaining the nuances between farms and ranches to some friends of ours out here, and someone asked what it was called when someone raised both livestock and crops. They asked if it was called a Franch. So there you go. In this series, I will entertain or disgust you with tales of frozen steers, prairie dog vacuums, mutton busting, chicken beheading, and many other wonderful things. Sound exciting?

So, the first story. Nothing will put the fear into you like seeing your mom butcher a few chickens. I remember when I was a kid, someone gave us some chickens. Live chickens. For the purpose of eating. So my mom took them out back, grabbed them by their scrawny necks and chopped their little heads off. I don’t remember what was more memorable: the fact that my mom just effortlessly chopped the heads off a few chickens or seeing the chickens running all over the place without their noggins. I also remember the smell of the fresh, raw chickens. Mom had spread brown paper over the table and laid the chickens out pluck all their feathers. Incidentally, chicken’s feet make excellent entertainment. Just take a pocket knife, peel off a little of the skin around the ankle, and pull on the tendons. Fun times. Fun times.

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