Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween's Not The Only Scare

          Thanks, Brenda Harsham at Friendly Fairy Tales for hosting this Poetry Friday, the 'spookiest' one all year! Visit Brenda to read her poem about an unknown creature, at least what it is not. See if you can identify it yourself. 


       From Michelle H. Barnes at Today's Little Ditty: Click HERE to read this month's interview with Carrie Clickard. Carrie's DMC challenge is to write a poem about a person, place, or thing that spooked you as a child. This may be the longest I've ever gone to write for one of Michelle's guest's challenges. I have been busy, but usually that doesn't keep me from being inspired.         
        This time, I've dug into the memories for a spooky childhood tale, and nothing came to me, until this week. I do have worries, but few really scare me. Here's that one thing I finally remembered. My father was killed in World War II, my mother remarried and I had a wonderful step-father. My contact with my father's family became a summer visit for a couple of weeks or more. I've written about that time in other ways, love my memories of the visits. Those grandparents ran a self-sustaining farm. They grew most all their own food, kept horses, sheep, cattle, including dairy cows, chickens, geese, numerous cats and dogs. They didn't have hot water or an indoor toilet until I was in my teens. I loved every minute of my time there, except for one scary thing.

I Just Can’t

I'm ten years old, 
love the daily summer pleasures
on my grandparents’ farm - 
reading from old Saturday Evening Posts
on the south porch swing on hot afternoons,
evening ride with Grandpa to bring in the cattle,
watching the sunset alongside their easy ambling,
dew-washed feet in the early morning garden,
choosing the noon dinner with Grandma,
long-sleeved shirt on for blackberry picking,
gathering eggs,
never!
I could not find the courage
to evade the pecks, to feel that warmth
Grandma told me was so dear.
Hens cackled when I entered their house,
flapped wings, feeling my fear.
They never allowed my invasion,

and I never invaded.
Linda Baie (c)All rights reserved

photo credit: frankieleon How are your investments going? via photopin (license)

34 comments:

  1. You've made me feel like I'm right there on the farm with you, which is quite a feat considering how much of a life-long city slicker I am. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Jane. It was a wonderful time, except for the chickens!

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  2. I can easily imagine how frightening that might be for a child... unsettling for some grown-ups too, I imagine! (raises hand) The rest of it sounds idyllic, though. So glad a memory finally came to you, Linda. I'm not sure you've ever missed a challenge! Would be a pity to start now. ;)

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    1. It really was a challenge, Michelle, until remembering those "pecks". I'm happy not to have missed either! Thanks!

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  3. Chickens are not a warm and fuzzy animal to me, either, Linda! Enjoyed your poem!

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  4. Love all the vivid details in your poem, Linda. I agree, chickens can be scary (they're certainly not the most endearing of creatures). A chicken spooked me too as a child: my uncle cut off its head and it kept running around the yard without it . . . Grandma tried to serve fried chicken that night. Could NOT eat any.

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  5. Your poem brought back the memory of my grandfather's chickens. I was always too afraid to help him gather eggs, those chicken were definitely scary. Loved your poem!

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  6. I'm happy to have more kindred spirits, Laura, Jama & Linda. I wonder now if I would be able to "reach under"!

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  7. I know. We had chickens when I was young. They were not my favorite animal. I have the same memories as Jama mentioned, and then we tried a new method. Not a lot better. No. I will eat chicken, but I won't gather eggs and I won't have chickens.

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    1. It's interesting about the way of killing. I have no memory of seeing my grandmother doing that. I did help pluck feathers, but after they were dipped in boiling water, right? Thanks, Donna.

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  8. ha! I don't know why but this tickled me. It's not funny at all that you were scared....but those chickens...I'm sure they had evil in their hearts. I'll bet another coop of chickens would let you find the eggs, surely! That is a great scare. I have stories from my uncle about the moment of killing the Sunday dinner by the wringing of the neck. Oooof. That would scare me more!

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    1. Late responding. My granddaughter was here much of the day. As I wrote above, I don't remember any of that. I guess my grandmother wanted to hide it from me. I know what you mean about funny, Linda. Those smaller creatures holding me hostage!

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  9. We have just recently had our own broody chicken experience, and now I can truly understand your childhood fear! I loved reading your poem with all those other wonderful childhood memories.

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    1. I did love every bit then, Molly, and how funny that I was not scared of any other animals, but oh, those pecking chickens! Thanks!

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  10. This is fantastic, Linda. You captured so many wonderful moments and then clearly defined your fear. Really love this!

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    1. Thanks, Penny, all true, and perhaps I still wish I could learn the secret of gathering those eggs!

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  11. Such warm memories--but I promise, my chickens are not that scary. I love walking in to gather the eggs. They might peck--gently--to see what I'm up to or what treats I might have for them. (They might be spoiled, too). But it did take me time to get used to them, and them to me. Now they follow me around and jump up so I can pet them.

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    1. And as an adult, I have petted chickens, but still have not tried to reach "under". You are right, getting to know them must be key! Glad to hear your experience, Kay! Thanks!

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  12. wonderful! I love how you capture the warmth and laid back-ness of the farm then shift moods so easily with that one word 'never'. very clever.

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    1. Thanks, Sally, it was fun to capture the feelings.

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  13. What memories! I would like to try to collect eggs someday, but I'm sure the chickens would have frightened my childhood me!

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    1. I guess I will listen to Kay and agree that it's probably easier when one really "knows" the chickens!

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  14. It was reassuring to hear Kay's experiences, because I was right there with you being scared! We have a lovebird and there is no way on Earth I would try to take an egg from her...

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    1. I used to care for a vacationing neighbor's parrots so know what you mean! Kay's words did help!

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  15. We have chickens, and I never collect the eggs. I leave that chore to someone else!

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  16. Chickens scare me, too! As do hogs, in their pens. They always look about to break down the fence.

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    1. Another grandfather kept hogs so I learned to like them, was not scared. But, I didn't really have to do anything with them, so that was easy.

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  17. I'm a weanie, I'd probably run! Love being reminded of the old Saturday Evening Post!

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    1. I wish I'd kept some of them, Diane. My grandparents saved them all year for my visit. Glad to hear your opinion too!

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  18. I imagine your visits were the highlight of their year too. How sweet that they saved their magazines for you. As for my chickens, Mark built the house so I can access eggs from outside the coop. I always move the hens because I don't want any surprises -- sometimes there's poo along with the eggs!

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    1. Glad to hear your perspective, too, Keri. That sounds like a perfect solution for all of us! Thanks!

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  19. Chickens frighten me, too, Linda! And cats! And goats! I love all animals, but many of them from a distance. Your poem captures that childhood sense of fear mixed with guilt - we always want to help those we love, but sometimes we just can't. =)

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    1. Thanks, Bridget, and you're right. It was a time I wished I could, but it never happened!

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