A man selling …

August 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

A man selling fence posts tarried at our place one day and told me that he had once had eighty peafowl on his farm. He cast a nervous eye at two of mine standing nearby. “In the spring, we couldn’t hear ourselves think,” he said. “As soon as you lifted your voice, they lifted their’n, if not before. All our fence posts wobbled. In the summer they ate all the tomatoes off the vines. Scuppernongs went the same way. My wife said she raised her flowers for herself and she was not going to have them eat up by a chicken no matter how long his tail was. And in the fall they shed them feathers all over the place anyway and it was a job to clean up. My old grandmother was living with us then and she was eighty-five. She said, ‘Either they go, or I go.'”
“Who went?” I asked.
“We still got twenty of them in the freezer,” he said.
“And how,” I asked, looking significantly at the two standing nearby, “did they taste?”
“No better than any other chicken,” he said, “but I’d a heap rather eat them than hear them.”

from Flannery O’Connor’s “The King of the Birds”

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