When Colin was little he was enthusiastic about chicken drumsticks.
“I lo-o-ove this chicken on a bone,” he’d say.
I should mention he was around four, I think, and fond of asking where his food came from – did corn grow on trees? What about potatoes?
Clearly we are an urban household. One that doesn’t engage in many horticultural activities.
Eventually Colin got around to asking “how’d they get this chicken on the bone anyway?”
We explained, in a fairly straightforward manner, how the chicken meat came to be attached to the chicken bone.
It wasn’t a terribly shocking revelation. The boys spent a great deal of time at Mike’s parents’ place out in the boonies, where there had at various times been plenty of chickens, as well as sheep, pigs, horses and whatever castoff household pets had been dropped on their country road by asshats who no longer want to deal with the cost of Kibbles.
I knew Colin wasn’t apt to get sentimental about eating what had once been scratching at bugs in the dirt, but I also hoped our conversation didn’t inadvertently kick off a new thing to be picky about. I tried to couch the whole subject into a circle-of-life conversation.
Because, you know, four year-olds and their existential tendencies.
I wrapped the whole explanation up with “even grandma’s chickens end up as dinner sometimes.”
Colin looked at me over the top of the drumstick.
“Grandma Sylvia,” he said.
Well, yeah, Grandma Sylvia. Of all the grandmas Colin had, she was the one with the livestock. (more…)