One lost chicken (not ours)

I love the gentle, country humour in this area. I’m sure it’s not unique this region. It is always meant in kindness, delivered in a slow, considered way and I find it funny because it always wrong-foots me. I hope I laugh with them.

Yesterday, we ran low on milk, so I popped out to the nearest shop which stocks it. Happens to be the nearest petrol station as well. It is a bit of a hub for people bumping into each other. Not uncommon to be stuck in a queue, waiting to pay, while the assistant is brought up to date with a bit of local interest. No-one minds. If you are in a hurry then you’d have probably come back later when you have more time or gone somewhere else.  Its country life.  A slower pace.

While I waited, I spotted a sign left on the counter. There were several people in front of me, but I could make out “Lost, one brown chicken“.  Now, our telegraph poles are pretty well littered with signs for missing cats or lost dogs, but this was a new one on me. I couldn’t help thinking that the one creature who knew the chicken’s fate, apart from the chicken, probably had never learnt to read and travelled by four paws rather than 4 wheel drive.

As I moved up the queue, I could make out an additional word written in different ink. It said “(uncooked)“. Yes, apparently the shop keeper had heard the joke too many times. I could just imagine the scene, and I am taking poetic license here. An old farm hand comes in and sees the original notice. May have been the same one who rolled his eyes when I told him I’d taken my chicken to the vet, years ago. Or even the one who emptied my septic tank when we first moved in.

He would have started with a pregnant pause, while the shop keeper waited patiently, knowing that something was coming. Its tempting to fill these pauses, but after a few years, I learnt that I’d miss something that would brighten up my day. Or maybe its me slowing down.

My imaginary farm hand might have broken the silence with, “Zomer last ‘is tea, then? E’ll not go hongry.”*, followed by a quiet laugh.

I’m just guessing.

Here’s to the slower pace of country life.

Anyone want to suggest an alternative punch line? Feel free to change the character.

(I have another knitted square pattern to show you tomorrow.)

*Apologies to anyone using a translator. Roughly translates as “Someone lost their supper. Never mind. They’ll find something else.”

2 thoughts on “One lost chicken (not ours)

  • Wednesday 9 February, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Youv’e brightened my morning reading this! Yes I think our four legged friend knows only too well where the brown chicken is lol! We have a lot of trouble keeping chickens here, we’ve lost 3 and 2 ducks too, you would have thought with the hundreds of rabbits chasing about, that the foxes would be well enough fed! I loved the post about the septic tank and the irises too. Local humour round here is much the same and its great isn’t it! I have heard that one many a time! Lovely chickens by the way.

    • Wednesday 9 February, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      The main cause of disappearing chickens, for us, is badgers. Caught one red-pawed so I have no doubt of its guilt. One badger desimated my bantam flock, before I knew what was going on. The children dreamt up all kinds of new defenses, but I did put my foot down when they suggested a machine gun. Maybe these kinds of experiences explain some of the country humour. You got to roll with the punches when you live so close to nature.

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