Drunken Chicken

19 06 2006

My Grandpa Lars drank wine.

He was an immigrant from Norway so there was always wine, pickled herring and lutefisk around.

It wasn’t good wine. It was some variety of white from Ernest and Julio Gallo that had the twist off cap and came in large bottles, from even larger cases down in the cellar.

Where do you get wine like that in cases? It’s a mystery to me.

He also used a spitoon – which I had the uneviable chore of dumping out…..but that is an entirely another story.

Another chore I had was to haul his empty bottles out to the “empty bottle place”. There was no recycling on a ranch in Montana so these bottles would pile up. I can’t remember who would eventually haul them away after the pile got too big, and where they would haul them to, but the pile always existed in some form.

Yet another chore, that I shared with my sister for many years, was feeding and watering the chickens.

I hate chickens.

Remember Rocky the rooster? If not, please read this post and view these pictures for some background information. I tried to feed, water and collect eggs when he was in the outside pen. If fast enough, I could outsmart the bastard by shutting the little chicken door that led from the inside coop to the outside pen. This was usually done with manic running, crying and flailing of sticks.

There was a little creek at the top of the hill where we would get the water. Being small, a bucketful of water was too heavy for me to lug down the hill without spilling it all over my legs.

So I used one or two wine bottles from the pile.

I vividly remember lying on the ground on top of the culvert and dipping the glass bottles into the creek. It was fast running and you had to hold on tight. You also had to dip the mouth of the bottle just halfway under the surface in order for the bottle to fill quickly – water in, air out.

The smell of the wine would waft up into my face and I would inhale deeply. I loved that smell.

There was always some wine left in the bottle – and I never thought to rinse it out. Those poor chickens were constantly drinking what amounted to watered down wine – at least when I was fetching the water. I wonder if they noticed.

While remembering this last night I came to an amazing conclusion – one that has given me the possible opportunity to forgive Rocky.

He was just an angry drunk.

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6 responses

19 06 2006
Ant

I believe that constitutes cruelty to animals, m’deer…

But they probably enjoyed it.

19 06 2006
anika

I’m glad that you finally have closure, Shari.

19 06 2006
rennratt

Am I wrong for laughing out loud?

[I live around the corner from a chicken farm. I can NOT imagine what you dealt with!]

19 06 2006
Kingfisher

Terrific story. Reminds me of mine about Billy The Asshole Goat.

19 06 2006
big brudda

Yeah, what Anika said.

20 06 2006
melissa.in.london

Hee hee hee… This post made me chuckle, Shari.

And you make a good point about Rocky. Clearly that’s the explanation! 🙂

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