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ave you ever smelled a rotten egg?  Those things are horrible!  They stink worse than an outhouse!  I know that's hard to believe, but it's the truth!

Grandpa had a bunch of settin' hens.  (Yeah, it's spelled right; not sitting, but setting and then the abbreviation for how we talked and spelt back then . . . .).

This is a story about rotten eggs.  Every one what knows anything about reproduction knows that to have baby chickens, you had to have roosters.  Well, some of the boys got BB guns for Christmas and promptly went outside for a BB gun war, which came to an abrupt end when several got shot.  Some of them things broght blood, and one Uncle, Uncle Dewey I think, got shot right under one of his eyes.

After growing bored with shooting Hickory nuts in the tree out back of the house, and for lack of things to shoot . . . and since the chicken coup was right there handy, one of Grandma's roosters ambled out of the coup and turned away from those seeking something . . . anything to shoot.

Suddenly . . . and all at the same time . . . all the cousins acquired tunnel vision!  All they could see was the rearend of that big ol' rooster and he had a bulls eye on it!  And it was extremely funny to see that big ol' rooster jump straight up when shot in the caboose with a BB gun!

From there it went to more than a game and three of the three roosters was on the ground, two of em already still.  How did they get dead from a lil' ol' BB?!?

One of the older uncles happened to see what had happened, and grabbed the big old bird still flopping around, and wrung its neck so it would bleed, and then the shooters all got the priveledge of plucking and dressing the rooster.  That was on top of the cottonstalk tea . . .

Wringing a chickens neck

As long as they are flopping, their heart is beating, and they will bleed all the blood out if their necks have been wrung.  What that consisted of was a bird was grabbed by the head, and flung round and round until their heads came off.  In this fashion, there was an outlet for the blood.  Our family would never eat any of the blood, nor would eat anything that had not been bled properly.  That was just the way of country folk.  "Sides, it said so in the Bible.  End of story.

But we had plenty of chicken for supper that night.  But two good roosters had gone to waste.  They were promptly buried by the shooters after a good busting with a cottonstalk (thus we have cottonstalk tea...), and much crying and begging to get their guns back.  But back to the other problem.

Now, Grandpa had several setting hens, and no rooster.  Since no one remembered to write down the day of the incident with the rooster shootings, several eggs were put to hatch under these setting hens.  After the alloted time, the egss didn't hatch because they hadn't been fertilized.  So now, we have about 3 dozen rotten eggs.  What do you do with that many rotten eggs?  You can't just bust em.  You can't just bury em.  According to the cousins official "What To Do In Case of Manual," you must throw the eggs.

Rotten Egg

The next question is what to throw the eggs at.  Can't throw them at cars, because they will stain and can ruin a paint job.  Can't throw them at the house or barn, or each other.  Finally, one cousin's face lit up when they heard the outhouse door slam.  All the cousins were in agreement.  They would bomb the outhouse.  It stunk anyway didn't it?

So, from the back three sides of the outhouse, the fierce army advanced.  Had they taken the time to look at the button on the outside of the door, they would have realized that the slamming of the door was when someone went into the outhouse . . . not out!.  Each of the cousins had about 3 or 4 eggs to throw.  On the count of three, a barrage of horrible thin-shelled stink grenades were launched, and the biggest part of them splattering against the walls of the outhouse.

Grandpas Outhouse

You never heard such laughter!  That was fun, and it was funny!

Now, if you have ever visited one of those old outhouses you know there are sizeable cracks between the boards.  This allows some air to get in, and gives you some relief in breathing.  You can imagine what the result was as those eggs hit the outhouse!  Yep, you guessed it!  Lots of that rotten egg went through the cracks and into the outhouse.

But all the laughter was cut short when someone inside the outhouse began yelling. "Here!!  You boys quit that!  It was Grandpa!  Now, Grandpa was not one to grab a stick and give you a whupping.  But, I guess just about everyone of his grandchildren had experienced a swat or two from him especially when it came to throwing cottonboles.  Him being the partriarch of the family, he was probably the most feared.

All of a sudden, what seemed like so much fun was turned into fear and dismay.  Pandomonium broke out as cousins scattered everywhere.  They were fighting for hiding places.  Some ran inside to hide under the bed, a couple hit the corn crib, a couple more went up the hay loft.  Everywhere, kids were skeddadling!  But, now it was not quite so funny!

I don't know how many got caught, or got a busting for it.  But one thing is for sure:  We learned something else not to do!

George Cavaness
10-09-1994



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