Growing up, one of the many tasks I undertook was killing a chicken, plucking the feathers and butchering it. I remember vividly how I had to chase the first Cockerel I attempted killing after I had slit its throat for more than two hours before I finally slit its throat properly. The chicken actually played a smart one on me by pretending to be dead and once I dropped it took some few seconds to regain its composure and then bolted. There are times I feel it somehow sensed my naivety and took full advantage of it but guess what I had the last laugh because I chewed its meat meticulously and intentionally constipated so it felt the pain. (heehehe just joking about the constipation side)
For a while now I have been wondering whether our kid wills actually go through some of these experiences we went through and the lessons that came with them, experiences such as rearing your own animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and chicken. It feels super nostalgic, thinking of how we glowed with pride like fireflies in the dark as we showed off our cockerels or hens to our friends and how we traded secrets like undercover KGB operatives on how to fatten them in anticipation for an Easter or Christmas feast of either fufu or jolof rice.
In a technologically advanced era, we must feel we are geniuses and very creative but for a while now, I have been thinking about all the stories we were told as kids to get us to do what we were supposed to do. One of such stories that fascinates me a lot, is the story of the feathers of the chicken growing back when you talk whilst plucking feathers off its carcass. Someway somehow we believed this and so you’ll find three young kids around a pan plucking feathers with their lips tucked in like a blanket at a military training camp. Not wanting the feathers to grow back we developed sign languages to communicate with each other on when to dip the carcass in hot water again, throw away the plucked feathers or bring the knife . The psychology was so strong that in our minds’ eye, we actually saw the feathers grow back when we talked during the plucking. The only thing we never saw were all the feathers growing back .Come to think of it this was just the best way to get us keep quiet and do a meticulous job plucking the feathers. Apparently, these stories were handed down orally from generation to generation but my fear is that they will go extinct soon since most of us go for the already dressed chicken which I like to term ‘mortuary chicken’ but until this happens lets share our rich stories that always had a moral with the younger generation.