(Chicken lost a feather and I lost some hide)
A bicycle wreck can be a very painful and frightening experience. It’s especially frightening when you know you are headed for a wreck and can’t do anything to prevent it. One day when I was about ten years old, my Grandmother sent me to deliver a chicken to a neighbor. So I caught the chicken and tied its feet together to make it easier to hold. Then, with the chicken in my left hand, I climbed on to my bicycle and started down the hill toward the neighbor’s house.
The road my house was on was very steep and was so rough that cars could not use it in the winter time. The rain water had washed deep gullies in the red clay surface of the road and it was very hard to ride a bicycle without sliding into a gully and wrecking, but it could be done if you rode slowly and didn’t hit one of the big rocks sticking up in the road. And I had ridden down the hill many times without a wreck, so I started down the hill without a worry.
But I had never ridden down the hill before holding to a squawking, excited chicken who didn’t want to go bicycle riding. Then, I hit a bump. I lost my balance and couldn’t hold the breaks. I was going faster and faster. I didn’t see how I could make the turn at the bottom of the hill, but I was still hanging on to a very, very excited chicken. Then my wild ride came to an end in a shower of gravel, dust, and chicken feathers.
Frightened as I was, I had to move fast. I had abandoned the chicken during the crash and she had flown into the neighbor’s pig lot where she and the pigs had a real commotion going. Though I was badly hurt, I had to get that chicken out of the pig lot before the pigs caught it. So, I crawled out of the gully and squeezed between the boards of the pig lot to rescue the chicken.
When I got in the pig lot, the pig began to show a strong interest in me and started grunting and snorting after me. I chased and slipped and slid through the sloppy, mucky lot after the worst scared chicken you have ever seen. What a sight the chicken was, flapping and squawking along with me slipping and falling along in muddy pursuit followed by “Old Squirt” the pig. The pig was interested in the chicken and me, and I was interested in the chicken, but the chicken was obviously not interested in either the pig or me. That chicken just wanted to find a nice, safe, and very high tree limb on which to perch and, as any respectable chicken would, avoid the crazy world of boys and pigs.
Finally, all of the commotion caused by my shouting, the pig’s grunting, and the squawking chicken brought the neighbor running out of her house to see what was going on. You should have seen her face- she could not believe her eyes. The two of us together captured the chicken and put her safely away where she could cluck indignantly and regain her composure. The pig soon calmed down again, and I picked up my wrecked and broken-up bicycle and pushed it back up the hill to home. I had wanted to make repairs on the bicycle immediately, but first I had to administer some first aid to my skinned and bruised body and wash off the dirt and smell that I picked up on my excursion through the pig pen.
I suppose if there was a good side to this story it’s that my new “Big Mac” overalls were not torn. That would have really hurt.