This true short story from his boyhood was written by my nephew, M.
M. is a fierce-looking sensitive soul, a retired military policeman, currently he tenderly supervises inmates at a federal lock-up. M. is about 6' 17", his head is shaved and his salty goatee belies his gentle, poetic nature.
Karma Doesn't TickleLet's wander back, again, to the mid seventies. To that spooky old house that I lived in as a boy. Where antiques weren't decorations, but things that you tripped over while doing your chores. Goats and the occasional cow to feed and milk. Natures most natural fertilizer to be spread amongst fruit trees, grapes and garden, and chickens to be fed. That's where I'm going to take you today. To the . Watch where you step. Like a goodly number of American families, then and now, we didn't buy our eggs at the store. We bartered for them with our chickens. You see, we had a surplus of cracked corn. The chickens had a surplus of eggs. So we worked out a legally binding contract with the chickens where we would trade the corn for the eggs. Everybody came out on top. Think of it as an earth friendly, symbiotic relationship that even butterflies and bunny rabbits looked at with a smile! It was all quite wonderful really. Of course, if one of the chickens quit laying eggs, we would eat her..... but it was in the contract after all, and a deal is a deal. Well, not surprisingly, along with all of the we had a rooster. A rooster is a lot like other chickens only bigger and more aggressive. They also have a clawlike "spur" on each leg just above their feet. They use this spur to defend their harem of hens from any and all intruders. A large rooster can be quite intimidating, their attacks painful. The term "tough old bird" actually has merit. There is another term derived from our fine feathered friends. "Bird Brain" is a pejorative term that makes reference to a lack of mental prowess. It's origins are most likely rooted in our avian cousins lack of computing skills and failure to pass even basic geometry. It is even probable that it is not a reference to any members of congress. Our Rooster, who I believe was named "&$!@ BIRD!", hadn't taken the time to read the "EGGS FOR CORN" contract, and kept attacking my brother and I when we brought in the corn to trade for the eggs. Imagine standing there with a big coffee can full of corn in one hand, sprinkling it out over the ground with the other while fat and happy hens cluck and peck at their favorite food. Now imagine being hit on the back of the calves by twenty pounds of idiot bird traveling at the speed of sound and trying to spur you like Pancho Villa running from the *&^% Federales. I did what any sports loving American boy would do under those circumstances. I grabbed a stick.. "Batter Up!" It went something like this: Sprinkle of corn.... POP FLY TO CENTER FIELD! Sprinkle of corn.... AWWW FOUL BALL! (Gotta admit, THAT's funny!) Sprinkle of corn.... LINE DRIVE TO RIGHT FIELD! LOOK AT THOSE FEATHERS FLY! The rooster never got hurt. I was actually terrified of that psychotic piece of petrifying poultry, but I couldn't resist the baseball analogy. Well, renting a small cottage from us right there on the property was a twenty something couple that were "Children of the Flower". Fred and Jean. For those of you too young to remember "Flower Children" I'll sum them up for you briefly. Largely vegetarian, new age religions, big on sandals and facial hair (even the guys), anti war, soap?!? and that ain't no cigarette. It seems that Fred spotted me feeding the chickens in the batting cage one day. To him it probably looked like an idiot ten year old locked in a cage with a stick wildly swinging it at a bunch of floating feathers while making a terrified, high pitched keening sound. Which isn't even wha..... Damn! That's actually a pretty fair description... Well good old Fred approached my Dad. He was concerned that I wasn't being fair to the rooster. "Mike just has bad karma man.... If he just worked on having better vibes, and feeling the overwhelming oneness of the universal togetherness of the everything is okay with the me and you type of.........." I'm pretty sure Fred is a professor at UC Berkeley now. Turns out that my Dad has a pretty good sense of humor. Right on the spot he gave that "&$!@ BIRD!" to Fred. "You're probably right Fred! Show us how it's done." he said "If you can't handle him, just bring him back! Mike's got little league next year and......" He winked at me. Personally I couldn't have been happier to have Satan's feather duster out of my way. The next day, when Fred went out to feed the rooster, he gathered all of his good vibes, polished his Karma, probably smoked something he shouldn't have and promptly had his legs knocked out from under him by that "&$!@ BIRD!" In a panic Fred forgot about his universal oneness and kicked the bird with his Air Jerusalems, breaking it's leg. That night we had chicken and dumplings. Fred probably just smoked his salad. Have a great day, M.