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.