Sunday, June 28, 2020


I apologize to the readers who have seen this entry before but I wanted to get as far away from the Pandemic and Trump disasters as possible … and this seems to fit the bill.


In January, 1907, this adorable picture of my mother and her pet rooster, Teddy, appeared in the “Boston Globe”, along with the following article:

Roosters are not unknown as pets, but little Ruth P. of West Brattleboro, Vt., has an exceptional rooster, Teddy, in that he will allow her to do anything she may wish with him.

The way this little mistress manages her bird playfellow is extremely interesting. She never punishes him because he never needs a rebuke. She speaks to him in a quiet tone, but there is in her eyes a certain power of the will, a power which is rare in children, which forces him to submit to her kind, though sometimes odd, treatment.

In the morning he struts into the kitchen and with a jolly “crowing” he mounts the low table at Ruth’s command, steps into the washbowl and patiently submits to a sponging with soap and water. After shaking his feathers a bit he is dried off with a towel and then brushed until his coat shines bright and clean.

Then follows another of her favorite pastimes. She hitches Teddy to her small doll-cart and drives her noble steed by “gee” and “haw” out through the woodshed, down the front yard to the sidewalk for a jaunt… both child and bird with tiny white hoods crowning their heads.

Ruth has had this strange comrade for several years and has trained him entirely herself. Teddy shows a great fondness for his mistress and obeys her without the least hesitancy.”


My mother lived to the grand age of 92 and, as one of her five daughters, I can attest to the fact that she “trained” us pretty much in the same way that she did Teddy !


Blogger kenju said...

I had forgotten this. How sweet. My only experience with chickens is feeding them through a fence at my great-grandparents' home.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

That is a wonderful story and a real family treasure!

5:16 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Love this story. Amazing what she got him to do. I had some friends who had a pet chicken that they use to take on vacation with them. We might need to rethink "bird brain".

5:23 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

from my friend Jan:

What a delightful story!
I thought I was cool having a pet chicken (Chi-chi) as a little kid, but that was nothing compared to your Mom!
I dare say, she trained you ALL well!

6:05 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

How delightful, plus your epilogue, of course.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

My mother had a pet chicken as a child during the depression. She named him Blackie, because he was black.
One day when arriving home from school the chicken coop door was open and Blackie was gone.
My mom was upset. Dinner that night was chicken. While eating my mother spotted a small black feather on her piece of chicken. Mom said she didn't eat chicken for a long time after that incident!

6:53 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for repeating this refreshing post.

1:00 PM  

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