I Remember When...

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I think it would be interesting if each of us would tell a story about something that happened while growing up. I will start (but I have to warn you I have tons of stories. I grew up in the country,poor and had 15 or 16 brohters and sisters (You tend to forget) not all blood but all real).

When I was four-years-old my mother took my brothers, sisters and me to my grandparents (my mothers parents) to visit. My grandmother raised chickens and no one was allowed to go near the chickens especially when they had babies. You can tell kids to leave certain things alone but, that doesn't mean they always will and you can count on most times when not being watched kids will go for just the thing they are suppose to stay away from and that was the case with my grandmothers little angles.

I would always go around the yard looking for the odd spot that I thought a hen would lay eggs and incubate them. Well, on this day I hit the jackpot, I went down into the field by the vegetable garden and there on the ground was a huge mailbox. I got on my hands and knees and looked in and there for my own enjoyment was a hen and her little fuzz balls. I no sooner found the payload when I heard my grandmother coming in my direction calling for me and my little sister Tina. I turned around on my hands and knees and crawled into the mailbox feet first and closed the door behind me. I don't know how come my grandmother never heard the commotion in the mailbox but, I could hear her yelling, "Georgie, Tina where are you two? You better not be bothering Grammie's chickens." I wanted to scream in agony because the mother hen was beating the daylights out of me. I could feel her pecking at my legs. The whole time I was kicking and screaming under my breath. I felt a great sigh of relief when I heard my grandmother yell to my mother, "Annette! I found Tina. Come see where I found her." When my mother got to where my grandmother was all I could hear was the adults laughing. I got out of the mailbox (hoping no one would notice) and ran to my grandmother and mother. At the same time I reached them there were several more adults (my mothers brothers and sisters) also coming to see what was going on. Us kids were not allowed to look because it was to bad. My sister Tina was in the bottom of the outhouse knee deep in yuk with a dead baby chick in her hand. My grandmother was so mad but couldn't help but laugh either as everyone else was in stitches. My sister Tina killed that chick with her own bare hands. I forget who the lucky person was who had to get Tina out but I suspect it was my mothers little brother Harley because he always got stuck with the crap jobs :-) My grandmother walked to the house giving us a lecture every step of the way. I guess it wasn't bad enough that she had me bothering the chickens but then she had another grandchild who was a chick killer and worst of all she went to a very very smelly pit to do her little deed. Tina hates it when I tell that story. She even hates it more that from that day forward when people would see her they would say, "Tina May pooped in the hay picked it up and threw it away." I don't have a clue who made that up but I suspect it was Uncle Harley.

-- george (bngcrview@aol.com), January 12, 2002


I just cannot get the image of the little girl in the outhouse out of my mind..super YUCK! I'm old enough to have a zillion stories and many of my friends have asked me to write a book, but first everyone I know has to die so they will not sue me....LOL..When I was 9 years old, my fathers' propensity for hard liquor had once again left us homeless..well, not really homeless. We had a 15 foot trailer and a Ford station wagon to pull it with. My father decided it would kill two birds with a giant boulder to live in Yellowstone over the summer. In those days you could do that; just park your trailer and hang out for months. We kind of infiltrated the vacationers campsite, so there were several other "campers" with their gear all in a circle. The middle of the circle was marked by the water supply for the campsite; a pipe sticking up out of the ground with a water spigot on the top.Each morning, I loved to watch the HUGE brown bears come running across the meadow towards the camp. At the bottom of the meadow, there was a small creek, lined with trees. These five enormous bears would run lickety-split across the meadow, splash across the creek and then climb the trees..they would seem to race one another to the tops of the trees. Because the bears were so heavy, when they reached the treetops they began to sway..alot..it looked like a circus act. When they tired of this routine, they would climb back down and then amble up the hill to the campsite. The garbage was in metal cylinders which were in the ground. One stepped on a lever and the lids came up. The bears were quite good at this, stepping on each lever and then reaching in to swipe the cylinder up by the handle and out onto the ground. My father had warned us to watch the bears from the trailer or the station wagon..never get close to them. One morning, after the bears had come and gone, my chore was to go to the spigot with a pail and fill it up with water. I recall standing there at the pipe, filling the pail and then for some reason, I picked up the pail full of water and placed it behind me while I then turned to shut off the spigot with both hands. (Who knows why kids do things?). Anyway, all at once I noticed a bunch of adults across the way standing stock still and staring at me! I heard my fathers' voice behind me saying, "Lesley Ann. Do NOT turn around girl. There's a bear right next to you!". Naturally, I turned around immediately. There was a mother black bear with three cubs standing within a foot of my backside. She was waiting while the cubs each took a slurp of water from my pail. When I turned around, she just looked at me and sort of "woofed" as if to say, "You're OK, but watch yourself". After what the adults told me was a good 10 minutes, she and the cubs wandered off. That was the closest I have come in my entire life to a totally wild creature and her babies and it was wonderful! BTW, we lived there for 6 months and then the local school found out we were "camping" and a nice social worker paid a visit.

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), January 13, 2002.

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