Farm Wars

Secrets to Survival

By Karen Sue Kight

As a farm kid, I faced some pretty scary bullies, but I knew the secrets to keeping them at bay. On our farm at the edge of the Clearwater National Forest just outside Grangeville, I faced my bullies at chore time.

Every day I was in danger of getting hurt, but I never chickened out. I don’t remember it ever crossing my mind to complain or find a way out of my chores.

Speaking of chickening out, when it was my job to collect the eggs, I had to face the rooster. No matter how quietly I cracked the door open to get a bearing on his location in the coop, his arrogant red-crested head was always cocked in such a way that one beady black eye dared me to enter. He’d strut a few steps, flash his spurs, and stir up a cloud of dust. I’d slip the handle of the egg bucket up to my elbow, grasp a baseball bat with one hand, and throw open the door with the other. Hens flew in every direction, but not that rooster. He stood his ground. I kept the bat bobbing between us while I scooted around the coop, grabbing eggs. Although he always closed in on me as I made for the door, he never actually got me.

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