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My Yardfowls

My Yardfowls

I saw this picture this morning and it reminded me of the yard fowls I had. It was October 1983, gun fire echoed through the village, fighter jet roared over head causing the galvanize roof to vibrate violently. My stomach rumbled, sharpe hunger pains meandered through my belly. For two weeks all I had to eat was hard boiled eggs and fruit. Shops were closed, or looted, harvesting season for corn and peas had come and gone. I looked over at my chicken coup. The twenty or so chickens clucked and flapped their wings as an explosion shook the trees on the hill behind the house. I opened the door and walked over to the coup, the fowls were quiet now, as if anticipating something. I opened one of the doors and grabbed one of the birds. It fought back, its wings flapping wildly. I walked over to the bucket that lay on the concrete stand next to the door. The cutlass sat next to the stand, its sharpen edges glittered in the tropical sunlight. I removed the bucket and lay the fowl on the concrete stand. I covered its body with the bucket leaving its head out. I reached for the cutlass but hesitated, looked at the bucket, the bird did not move, there was complete silence as if it was giving into it’s fate. How can I do this, these birds were more my pets then a food source. The sound of gunfire brought me back to reality, my stomach grumbled with a combination of fear and hunger. I lifted the cutlass, swung it. I sat and looked at the place of cooked chicken, I did not eat until my stomach compelled me to. That night I lay in the dark agonizing about what I had done. Then like a jumbie, I got up and walked to the back door, the night was orange with the glow from flares, sporadic gunfire persisted beyond the hills. I walked over top the chicken coup, opened the door and shewed the fowls the fowls out. The flapped their wings, landed on the ground, then with a confusion of clucks disappeared into the fading light of the flares.