In a crisis torn, South American country, only little Ann's faith, her determination, and one young woman could help keep her dreams of escape alive.

A true story...
Find a synopsis and other details about Sunday’s Child at my confidence blog (linked). Read excerpts here: List of Books on Amazon

The Rhythm of 'Them' Drums - Excerpt 18

Theresa was posted off to the market to choose a chicken. They keep them all in a pen, so you could do a quick inspection, then pick the one you wanted. After they weigh the bird, and you pay for it, you can take it home. When Christopher was younger, and he lived at home with us in the house the mechanic bought, he built a hen-coop after learning woodworks at school. Mammy had bought twelve little chicks for him to raise, because she said it was cheaper to buy them when they were babies, then bring them up yourself.

My job every morning, was to go down stairs and open the padlock on the coop, to let the chickens out. This was around the time when I got that hole in my face – which has now turned into a scar I seem to be stuck with forever. Christopher said that if you let the chicks out early, they would catch lots of worms and grow up healthy. Later in the morning, he used to come down and feed them with rice and paddy. They ran around in the grass all day long, pooing wherever they wanted, and in the evening, he went down and locked them up again. When they got bigger and fatter, we caught them, cut their necks, and cooked them.

One day I came down early to unlock the padlock, and only noticed that it was already open, when I began to put the key into it. I slowly opened the door of the hen house with one little finger, but nothing clucked and hopped out. All gone, they were. Even the little skinny one we’d brought back to life when we beat on the empty down-turned basin we’d placed over her.

I didn’t mean to step on her, honest. She was just a little, yellow chicken, running to keep up with the others. Christopher had just got his new chicks, and he was showing me how to fling the paddy and rice so it scattered everywhere under the bottom house of solid earth – no grass. I made one little step forward to practise my fling, and when I put my foot down, she was under it. Christopher sent me racing upstairs to bring down this white, enamel basin we used to have. He turned it down, over her limp body, and with all his might, began to beat a rhythm on its base. Every so often, he would lift the basin and look under it, but she didn’t stir. He would replace it and pump the palms of his hands on the bottom, over and over again – heel of hands, fingers, then heel of hands again, followed by a succession of beating fingers. Finally, he lifted it up and she moved. She shook her feathers, uncertainly at first, then she got up and limped away.

“How yuh do that?”
“You like it, no? See wot your uncle can do?”
“How yuh do that?”
“Is the rhythm, mon. You beat them fingers on the drum long enough, and it will wake them up. Did it to a puppy once. Is all in the rhythm, mon.”
I ran upstairs and told Christopher about the empty coop. He wasn’t pleased at all about being burgled, when it was done to him. We never raised chickens after that, now we just buy them from the market. It was hard getting them home because they fought and clucked all the way.


•°°• IcyBC •°°• said...

When I was young, I saw how the chicken was killed, and plucked, but I was too scare to go near it.

This is a good excerpt!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thanks for your comment, Icy. I'm afraid, I've seen too many chickens killed, to say I'm scared. . .

Middle Ditch said...

It was pheasants when I was young. My dad was a beater and as a reward he brought home several. The big problem was eating them. They were shot with bird shot, tiny little bullets and if you bit on one, by jove did you not hurt your teeth. Awful!!

Lovely story Anne, brought back memories.

ANNA-LYS said...

________________I Have
_______________Come Here
______________To Wish You
_____________Merry Christmas
____________And Also, A Happy
___________New Year To You For
__________2009... I Hope The New
_________Year Brings You Loads Of
________Happiness And Good Health.
______I Hope You Have A Nice Day On
_____Christmas Day, Filled With Lots Of
____Family Time.....And Of Course Eating
___Lots Of Nice Foods, And Candies. I Hope
__That Santa Is Good To You As Well And He
.Brings You Lots Of Presents On Christmas Day

Never give up Your writing!!! <3

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thanks for stopping by, Monique. Anna-Lys, what a lovely tree. Thank you.
I attempted to visit your blog, but only say a profile page. Don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Middle Ditch said...

Anne, Anna-Lys has temporary stopped blogging. I was also flabbergasted but Fancy assured me that nothing was wrong.

I'm coming here to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year and also to tell you that we now have the Middle Ditch Christmas special online. I hope that you enjoy it.

Hug and LOL.


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