Of Hens And Grandmas

It was very, very early in my, by now, fairly long life. A little scene I never forgot.

The protagonists of this story are my late Grandmother and a chicken, or a hen, whatever it might have been as I would have difficulties in telling the one from the other to this day.

My grandma had clearly selected this hen as her particular friend for the morning, and was looking at her in a warm, friendly, utterly trust-inspiring way.

Without any hurry, and with that good-natured expression stamped on her eyes, she was assuring the hen of the utter and complete sincerity of her intent. You might say, today, that she was asking the hen to give peace a chance, or to let friendship win over hate.

All the time I was looking, with a fairly vague idea of what she might want to do, but without any real certainty, as I had never assisted to such an exercise in rural village diplomacy.

I remember to this day my exact vantage point, and how I could see, from my comfortable, sitting position, both the utterly friendly expression of my clearly friendship-craving, peace-loving grandma and the hesitant, uncertain demeanour of the hen, visibly conflicted between her better instincts and the smile offensive of my late ancestor. If that was a hen, it wasn’t a huge, that is, very old one. I suppose she was good enough for the day.

This kind of ballet went on for what, to me, seemed a while. Grandma was in no rush whatsoever. She seemed to really want to strike a long-lasting, beautiful friendship with the, no doubt, succulent animal.

As my grandma was slowly, patiently winning the trust of the two-legged bird, I remember noticing, with my very young but already somewhat observing brain, that there was no alarm among the other hens. They were all going after their own business, enjoying the sunny Summer morning without a care in the world. This would, methinks, have contributed to the undecided behaviour of the Chosen One, who would certainly have run away as fast as she could in case of general panic.

How this ended, you have already understood. Grandma managed to get near Mrs Lunch, grasped her with a fast, assured movement, and went away with the bird now clearly alarmed and trying to scream “treason!”. It was likely due to my presence that she did not execute the bird on the spot, but rather made it disappear in the direction of the kitchen, never to be seen alive again, in best Augusto Pinochet style. I saw the bird at lunch, though; and, being already then not really the bleeding heart, vividly remember not being saddened one bit. Grandma’s skill, not her victim, is what remains with me to this day.

I reflect now that, on that sunny morning in the Sixties, I saw a little theatre of life.

Satan lures his victims with fake promises of friendship. He wins their natural resistance and persuades them, little by little, that all his fine. Their irreligious stance, their fornications, their abortions are no great deal. Their sodomy is perfectly fine, its “acceptance” and “celebration” quite ok, laudable even. The other hens around seem to think all this quite normal. There will be no alarm.

But when Satan has his chosen victim in his hand, there will be no going back.

Posted on October 14, 2021, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Oh, how I wish I had been exposed to that farm ethos, the necessary acceptance that animals are food in many cases. I am completely sappy about animals, and I have trouble with such things unless that animal appears ready to go, on my plate. Ironically I would love to know how to butcher and prepare a chicken like that. There’s all kinds of cutting and prep involved. Those Grandmas, they knew a thing or two. Great story. People are just as unknowing as that chicken, about evil.

  2. Was it a lovely cacciatore? My granny made the best roast chicken! God keep our grannies close.

  3. A chicken is a general term for a specific type of bird.
    A male chicken is called a “rooster.”
    A female is called a “hen.”
    Roosters are never sterilized because they get eaten first.
    Hens lay eggs and therein is why they don’t get eaten all that often.
    There are some breeds of chickens (Cornish Cross, for example) that exist purely to be eaten, they grow very quickly, have lots of meat on their bones, and usually get harvested well before the hens have reached an age where they can lay eggs.
    Within all breeds the roosters are larger than the hens.

    • Thanks! I did not know a rooster was also a chick? Or is chicken generic and chick female?
      In Italian parlance, a hen (“chioccia”) has “little ones” and tends to be bigger. If she hasn’t, she’s only a chick (“gallina”).
      Mind, I wasn’t raised on the farm…

  4. I like your grandmother’s technique. The ladies were not so gentle on my family’s farm, but we did have similar results. However, your point is well-taken: how easy it is to be lulled into a situation you could never have anticipated…vaccines, contraception, abortion, etc.
    Excellent point.

  5. All chickens are “chicks” when they are babies/early on:+) I think…noahvaile would know for certain:+) God bless~

  6. I tried to butcher chickens once, it was a disaster. One rooster got up and ran off with his head half cut off, and jumped into a multiflora rose bush when I tried to catch him. After all that, I figured he had a right to live, and he did, for about 5 yrs, managing his small harem of Rhode Island Reds. We called him Rocky, I felt kind of bad about trying to cut his head off.

  7. Yes, a “chick” is a recently hatched baby chicken and that goes for both sexes until they are big enough that one can tell the difference. A few weeks. It takes an expert to tell at hatching although there are those people.
    Once the egg has been fertilized the chick has no choice about what sex it will be (not that it had one before or ever) nor does it get asked when it hatches. Sex is what it is.
    You might get a feisty and aggressive hen or a shy and retiring rooster but they remain as they were hatched (“born” in mammal lingo) and the hen will stay lay eggs and the rooster won’t.

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