On Saturday, my daughter and I went to the Mother/Daughter Tea at my Mom's church. Parishioners were asked to submit memories of their mothers. My Mom wrote one and it was included in the program for the tea. I told her that because it was so good and her writing was so good that she should start up a blog and post it. Since my Mom doesn't have a blog and isn't thinking of starting one up, I decided that I would post it on mine and, of course, give her all the credit. So here's to you, Mom, and to your wonderful memory of your mother!
A Few Ruffled Feathers
by Yvonne Walsh
Back in the 40's, when we had moved from the city to the farm, my mother, who was just a tiny bit of a woman, always kept a flock of chickens, mostly for fresh eggs, but any pikers in the egg laying production were most likely to wind up in the pot for Sunday dinner. Her chickens "free ranged," that is they were allowed to run completely free all over the farm, so it was easy for a predator, either a fox or hawk or raccoon, to eye them up for the menu of the day, always on the lookout to waylay an unsuspecting hen before she made it safely to the coop or the pot, whichever came first.
One day, when Mom stood at the kitchen sink doing dishes, she glanced out the window and saw what she presumed to be a large hawk in the process of air lifting a plump hen. The hen was squawking her head off and running around the yard as fast as her two legs could carry her, with the hawk swooping down in hot pursuit. It had just latched its talons onto the hen when a small tornado wielding a broom burst out of the back door of the house.
"Let go of that chicken, you buzzard!"
The startled white feathered creature flew up into the air with the hapless hen still in its clutches and came right at mom, its wing span all of six feet wide. This definitely was not a hawk! But was mom daunted -- ! No, she drew back with the broom and got in a few more lobs, for all like a Wimbledon champ, and the would be chicken snatcher decided to cease and desist. He knew when he was on the losing end of the stick. He dropped his would be lunch and reeled across the field to a fence post where he lighted and sat for several hours, trying to get his aching cranium and addled thoughts in order. Perhaps the greatest injury was to his pride.
The poor dazed and bedraggled hen was restored safely to the coop but a defiant mom still stood guard with her trusty broom in hand, just in case of a counter attack. It wasn't until she went back into the house and her adrenalin had returned to normal that she thought about the size of the feathered predator and of the harm that he could have done to her with its huge claws. And, being our mom, later on she made a trip to the library -- this was WAY before computers! -- and found out that what she had assumed to be a hawk was actually and Alaskan Snowy White Owl that definitely decided that it was not advisable when traveling to stop off in Michigan at a bed-and-breakfast, especially when it was managed by a feisty little lady with her trusty broom in hand.
For some reason we never saw Mr. Owl again.