This was crazier than he could take sober

Posted by | June 11, 2010

The Chicken Thumb
A far fetched folktale from NC

Well folks, sit right back and let me tell you a little tale about how Hoopie the farmer and the Rooster named Red went at it one day.

Before I start, it is necessary for me to tell you a little something about Red. Red is one of them Barred Rock roosters. That’s the kind they take to them events called Cock Fights. Now Red was always doing things around the farm that were of questionable nature. To make a long story bearable, he did his job quite well: fertilizing that is. He done it so well that chickens no longer satisfied his insatiable appetite for fertilizing. That’s when the trouble begin.

At first it was Guinea hens that were the object of his desire. That was okay. Then next it was the ducks. That was a little odd but still bearable. It was when he moved up to geese that we began to take notice.

The day Hoopie woke up to Daisy, the milk cow, half mooing half screaming was the day that began as the end, or so we thought.

What happened next is about the craziest thing you ever did see.

Hoopie went running up to the barn to find Red eyeing Daisy in a way that makes your skin crawl, much like when you see a snake crawl up your pant leg. Hoopie commenced to chasing Red. Well Red ran and ran and ran. Hoopie chased that darn rooster for two days. Meanwhile, the weeds were growing up in the fields and the cow was about to burst from lack of milking. Hoopie stopped to milk and weed, then the chase started for another two days.

Something had to give.

The Chicken Thumb folktaleThinking ahead, Hoopie come up with a trap for that darn rooster. He went into his wife Maybelle’s closet and picked out a right purty dress that he figured ole Red might find attractive. One thing led to another (you need to use your imagination here) and as Red tried to jump Hoopie, who now was the object of Red’s desire, Hoopie swung around and grabbed that dab burn ole rooster around the gizzard.

There was feathers flying, necklaces flying, sqwaking and cursing. When the dust settled, Hoopie was sittin straggle legged on the ground with his wife’s wig in one hand and Red in the other.

Hoopie gathered himself and immediately took action. He carried ole Red over to the wood pile where fate awaited.

Now Hoop had a few swigs out of the shine jug before he was able to get into Maybelle’s dress and attire. Afterall, this was crazier than he could take sober. So, when the axe swung downward, aim being on the left rooster head instead of the right head, the axe blade cut clean through the fat thumb of Hoopie’s left hand.

The Chicken Thumb folktaleRed jumped up with just a knick and began crowing his success. Hoopie jumped up with a bloody stub for a thumb screaming for help. The rest of the thumb just laid there on the chopping block and stared blankly at the scene slightly removed from reality.

Hoopie scooped up the rest of his thumb and yelled for Maybelle. Off they went to the hospital with the thumb in a bucket of ice.

When Hoopie returned home from the hospital he was quite a sight. There he was with the thumb all bandaged up and Maybelle’s dress and necklace for clothes with boots not to match. He was beyond mad at this point. All he could see were the looks of the people in the emergency room when he and Maybelle came running in with matching dresses and an apparent bucket of ice.

Well now, what happened next is only as predictable as the sun rising in the morning. Hoopie marched up to the barn and cornered Red in the hay loft. Red more or less knew that what was about to occur was destiny. So, Red went the way of all chickens that meet up with the losing end of a twelve gauge shotgun.

http://www.ibiblio.org/bawdy/folklore/thumb.html

The+Chicken+Thumb appalachian+folktales appalachian+folklore,appalachia appalachian+history appalachian+humor

One Response

  • Gary Carden says:

    That is a good story! I just might use it at my “Liar’s Bench” which meets once each month at the local bookstore. We do a mix of storytelling, music and poetry, and nobody gets paid.

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