I must have been five or six years old when the chickens came.
We had learned that it was not wise to keep chickens, as the traffic from the nearby highway, as well as the occasional car on the old road, would pretty much eliminate them from existence after a while. Cars and chickens don’t mesh well.
But our neighbors had gotten some hens, and for some reason they didn’t like their house, so they came down to our barn and roosted in the barn loft. Soon we were finding eggs in the hay. So one of my duties when I would go to the barn with Pappaw was to pick up the eggs. I had small hands, no basket, and had to use what I had, so my shirttail, my pockets, whatever, was used to carry out this chore. After a bit, when all the chores were finished, I was to go to the back porch and completely divest myself of all hen-eggs. So I did.
Back to the merry business of being a little boy, I wondered across the old road to the garden spot where I was doing who knows what. Then my Pappaw hollered at me. Probably inviting me to go with him to the little store down the road where we would get a pop and some bubble gum. I was always glad to go with Pappaw anywhere he wanted to take me. And trips to the store were always welcome interruptions to my day.
So, in showing my excitement, I slapped my hands to my side. Then I remembered where I had put one of those eggs. All of a sudden, I found egg innards sliming their way down the legs of my shorts. My joyful “slap” had broken the shell and emptied its contents in my pocket. My dear Pappaw waited patiently while I trampsed down the lane to my house to change and clean up.
So much egg-citement.