I remember as child looking out of the house
in the morning and seeing that again our neighbors’,
in Glen Park, part of Gary Indiana, chickens had
flown over the fence and were foraging on our long
front lawn. I always wondered why they never went further
than that into a great Escape especially since there was
a stump with a lot of cuts and a hatchet on top in their own
back yard. Our neighbors also had a couple of goats in the
garage. There was a definite farm smell to my block in the city.
And yes, there were Easter chicks, and fried chicken
not all that long after.
Once when I was three and there was a steel strike on,
I was with my father when he went out into the farmlands
and with a couple of friends bought a calf for ten dollars.
After the farmer led the mother away my father straddled
that calf and with a borrowed knife cut its throat in front of me;
I can still hear the sound of its hooves banging inside the
trunk of the car as we drove home. Then I watched him
slaughter the carcass to the bone in the apartment basement,
( he gave me the eyes to play with ). It was a different world then.