Friday, March 21, 2008

Farm Girl Fun

I've been collecting memories from my extended family, in order to place them in a cookbook that I'm putting together. Mom grew up in a time long before X-Box and Guitar Hero (and even TV!) It was a time of innocence and of making your own fun. She told this gem yesterday....

Come and See Neola!

A carnival was coming to town, and we two country girls could hardly wait. When we got there, there was the usual ferris, wheel, tiltawhirl, and flying swings, but the thing that most attracted my sister and me was the sideshow. The canvas-painted front showed a wild woman with chickens flying all around. She was pictured with a headless chicken in her hands, supposedly haven bitten its head off and drunk its blood. I can still hear hear the barker calling, "Come and see Neola! Last time we feed her tonight!" We were mesmerized.

We did NOT go in there, but the next day, Charlotte and I had our own sideshow at home on the farm. We set up an overturned bushel basket, propped up with a stick and string and we led a trail of corn kernels to the basket. It wasn't long before we had our own spring chicken, and I, of course (being the tomboy) was Neola. Char, the barker, called out, "Come and see Neola! Last time we feed her tonight!" And there I was, with that little chicken's head in my mouth!

We had a great time playing with that chicken. Don't worry; she was alive and well when we let her go! However, you'd have thought I did bite its head off by the way it ran, squawking with its wings flapping as fast as it could go to the chicken coop!

Something tells me these two were a lot of fun to hang out with!


  1. Hmmm. I saw mom chop a chicken's head off one time right after grandpa died, and that was a sight, but I didn't know that she put one in her mouth many years before... And I guess I didn't really know that mom had been a tomboy. I mean really, when have we seen her climbing trees etc...Oh, that's right, she used to show us (Or should I say the boys, I wasn't interested) how to catch night crawlers... :)

  2. Actually, I recently found a photo of a bunch of our backsides as we are "nightcrawlin'." I loved that! It was challenging and fun to me :)

  3. That story was a riot. Will this book you are putting together be only for in-house consumption? Because I have to tell you that you've whetted my appetite for more of these kinds of stories. Your mother seems like the kind of person I know I would love to meet.

  4. Gypsy, I will definitely sell copies to anyone who wants one. I am days away from sending it to print, and it is a GEM, if I do say so myself. It's filled with people's memories and funny, sweet stories interspersed with the 300 recipes. Email me if you want to order one; the price is only $10.


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