Rooster Attack Highlights Thanksgiving

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 12, 2011

Have we ever had a more pleasant Thanksgiving Day? Sunny, shirt-sleeved weather. About 45-strong, the Sparks clan ate outside, picnic style, a drastic change from last year when we were stuffed inside by the rain and cold.
The great-grandchildren now outnumber the grandchildren, and there were lots of toddlers on the lawn at my sister’s house. The proud crowing of her rooster demanded our attention in the backyard. The hostess released the chickens to wander among the intrigued children.
Chickens are the new “must have” thing for rural folk. Three of my sisters now get fresh eggs direct from the source. A brother-in-law despaired as he added up his investment in a coop and sturdy wire to protect the hens from varmints.
The chickens and rooster were alluring.
Whit, 4, ventured too close. The rooster attacked. Whit howled, more from shock than the pain of being pecked on the leg.
He will remember this Thanksgiving.
For the second year, we had a guest for the holiday. Last year Robert brought home an entire family from Maine. This year former neighbor Amanda Darling, who moved away 11 years ago, found herself stranded in Chapel Hill and unable to get back to her family in upstate New York.
The little girl from next door is now 21, beautiful and smart and fit right back into our home as easily as she did when she was 10.
Kids these days … depend on electronics. For entertainment, Amanda and Robert huddled around a laptop and watched YouTube videos, the major source of fun and information for their generation. They don’t watch much TV.
Elizabeth cooked a 20-pound gobbler, and I feared it would last until Christmas. We finished it off Sunday night.
Brother-in-law Michael Miller proudly showed pictures of his deer kill, a nine-pointer with a coveted “drop tine.” I hadn’t absorbed the significance of the phrase when an archery shop opened in Advance last summer. A drop tine is an antler that turns sharply downward. The rarity makes it a top prize for hunters.
Amanda told us a third of her high school class skipped school when deer season opened in New York. Judging by the number of deer struck by cars here, we need more deer hunters.
On Friday, we didn’t go shopping, avoiding the mall like the …