Have you ever gathered eggs?

Both sets of grandparents raised chickens.  I only remember gathering eggs at my Dad’s parents, Polly and Dickie.  They had an old chicken coop with a ramp for the chickens to walk in and out.  I remember nests on both sides of the coop.  My grandmother would send me out to gather the eggs and I would crawl up the ramp in through the chicken door. It was always warm, dusty and dimly lit.  Light seeped in from the cracks in the walls.   Oh please don’t let the hens be on the nest.  Those ladies would peck you if you disturbed them.  I wasn’t brave enough to put my hand under them.  I’d gather what I saw in the empty nests and crawl back out.  Of course I could have used the “people” door, but I preferred the chickens’, until my cousin told me all about the bugs that lived in the coop.  I was terrified to crawl on the floor after that.  Consequently I always thought my head itched when I was sent to collect the eggs.

The rooster strutted in the chicken yard, scratching, clucking and making sure his brood was behaving themselves.  Sometimes he would try to fly to the top of the fence, but never really make it.  I was his cheerleader, encouraging him to try again; maybe he would make it out of the chicken yard. Alas, he didn’t.  Occasionally Grandma Polly would make a delicious chicken and noodle dinner.   I didn’t want to think about where the chicken came from, but I knew.

“When I Fly” blogger 2013