Advent and the sharing of a Christmas memory in church on Sunday evening gave me cause to smile quietly about two chickens.  Sadly no longer with us, these fowl were destined for human consumption – sadly, animals were harmed in the making of these memoirs…

The second chicken to have me almost choking on my tongue with laughter was the poor creature featured in one of my most favourite films, Withnail and I.  If you haven’t seen then you must!  The first chicken just happened to suffer, after probably an undignified short life in some factory environment, further demeaning when in my mischievous infancy, I decided to carry the bird mum had only just so proudly prepared to the dinner table!  I thought I was helping!  Of course, I had not the length of leg that I have now so straining up to the kitchen worktop   to reach the platter on which the chicken sat was a big mistake…  Just as I slid the plate away from the bench, the thing, greased and still hot, flew from the plate and shot onto the floor!  The meat was soft and legs and wings detached, while the torso opened on impact and spread about the fluffy but hard-wearing carpet that clad the kitchen floor!  We never had turkey because a decent chicken was an awful lot less expensive…

After much flinching and crouching to avoid being skinned alive, the chicken was, in a fashion, refashioned and picked over for fluff and dirt.  In one respect it was fortunate that the nicely crisp, bronzed skin could be peeled away, hence doing away with any deposits from the floor…

Satisfied that it was indeed edible, seated and ready to tuck in, our pre-feast, Christmas prayers were spoken something like:

Dad:  “…loving God, we give thanks for this table…”

Robert:  “Oh, can I have the wishbone?”

Dad, stops and stares a frosty stare that saw me sink further into my seat…

Dad:  “…loving God, we give thanks for this table…..and for arms that aren’t long enough to reach across it and strangle a little someone if I hear another peep out of him!”

I chewed, quietly humming Steeleye Span’s rendition of Gaudete…




About Robert

A fifty-something, retired Celestial Travel Agent. Walked many paths; some good, lots bad. Meandering through the past, plodding in the present, crawling toward the future.
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