Perhaps it was living on the autistic spectrum that as a child I didn’t play with other kids. I was the one sitting amongest the adults listening to their adult conversations. Sometimes an adult would notice and say, “Look at her…”. They’d laugh at my hanging on every word. I didn’t get the hint to go outside and play. I guess I was pretty stubborn about that.
Strangely, I now have a job where I get to play with kids and I like it. I love playing with the kids at family get-togethers. That’s the kick about life. One never knows what direction life will take.
This is a story I fondly recall from one of those “adult pow-wows”. I probably don’t have all the facts of the story, but I think I have the gist of what happened on an afternoon day on the farm where three kids had some idle time on their hands. Idle time and children can be a dangerous combination. In this case, it was for a little chick who didn’t deserve what it got.
Two older sisters, Bessie and Louise, nicknamed “Lukie”, and their little brother were playing near the house while their Mom and Dad were laboring in the garden out of sight. Mom had warned her son, Thomas, to stay away from the cicken house. He was the average boy for whom instructions usually went in one ear and out the other. It usually took more than a “telling to” from Mom to make it stick.
He got a hold of one of his Mom’s prized little chicks. It sounds so vicious, but the truth is, he killed the chick with his bare hands. He didn’t mean to. He just didn’t know his own strength. You could call it involuntary manslaughter if that sounds not so bad.
Now if he had been my little brother, I would have run like a jack rabbit with its behind on fire to tell Mom and Dad all about it. But the older sister had mercy on her little brother. She knew he’d be in for another bruising if Mom found out her chicken population had been diminished by one thanks to him.
The older sister, Bessie, goes to the shed and gets a shovel. She then proceeds, with Lukie and Thomas, to bury the victim of her brother’s strength. Just as Thomas got carried away with the chick, she got carried away with the shovel. When it came down, it didn’t hit the ground. Instead, somehow, it accidently landed on Lukie’s head.
Cries coult be heard in any direction a mile away. Bessie tried in vain to quieten down Lukie. I don’t know if it was concern for Thomas being caught, or herself being caught as an accomplice. But no matter. When Lukie saw the blood streaming down from the top of her head, she was convinced she was going to die and she wasn’t going away quietly.
Mom and Dad came running and the first and ONLY thing they saw was their little “Lukie” with blood streaming down her face. Neither noticed the little dead chick at the feet of Bessie and Thomas. All Mom and Dad cared about at that moment was hitching up the wagon and getting their little girl to the doctor to be stitched up.
I don’t know what happened when Mom and Dad returned home with a bandaged-up Lukie. My Grandma was in the room when this story was being told. She couldn’t recollect what punishment she handed out to Thomas afterwards.
My Uncle Thomas might remember since he’s the one who got carried away with the chick. I do know my Mom had one heck of a headache that day long ago. I have not confirmed this, but I would imagine that the next time my Aunt Bessie had taken to a shovel, my Mom headed for the hills.