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Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck
by Leah Sellers
2014-03-13 10:27:24
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Mama’s dyin’ of Breast Cancer.  But she’s busy Livin’.  She chuckles and tells everyone that she’d rather be a Liver than a Dier.  She says that her Life is Full.  It’s only her Time that’s shortened.
Our Family’s Relatives from all over the United States have been droppin’ by almost every weekend to pay their Respects to Mama while they can.  Mama is much BeLoved.
One of those weekends, Uncle Jay and Aunt Jean drove down from the Appalachians full of good cheer and Family news.
mama01_400All of us spent most of Saturday catchin’ up on Family Activities, EveryOne’s present Where-abouts, and recent New Borns.  We all spent Time oooing and aaahing over the proudly Shared photos of the latest great-grand-Children.
“Ooo, how handsome he is !  Aaah, I see his Daddy through the set of his eyes and mouth !  Ooo, how beautiful she is !  Aaah, I see her Mama in that gorgeous little face of hers !  Ooo !  Aaah !  How Precious !
As dusk approached, Mama rose unexpectedly from her Rockin’ Chair, and said, “Y’all please, excuse me.  I’ve got to run put my Chickens and Geese up for the evening.  I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll help you, Mama, Cheyenne offered.
“I’d Love the Company, Cheyenne.  Thank you.”  And with that Mama and her Eldest Daughter, Cheyenne, headed out the door toward the fenced-in Chicken Yard.
Mama has her Chickens and Geese well trained.  Every evening at dusk the Geese come waddlin’ up the hill from the pond to join the Chickens in the Bird Parade into the Chicken Yard to await Mama’s final ministrations and rituals with them at the end of every day.
The Geese honk all the way over to their separate wooden Goose Coop and settle in, while all of the Chickens peck and pick at the ground for last minute grubs and bugs while slowly scratchin’ and sachetin’ their way toward the Chicken Coop.
Then one-by-one, each Chicken and the two Roosters hop onto their handmade wooden perches to roost for the evening.  All but Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck, that is.
Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck squats and huddles right outside the front door of the Chicken Coop, and waits for Mama to pick her up, and Ooo and Aaah over her while she places Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck onto her perch, before Mama locks her Precious Chickens into their Safe Haven for the night.
Many Folks say that Mama’s Chickens lay the best tastin’ eggs in the Community, because her Free Range Chickens are Loved, and constantly Oooed and Aaahed over.  And as far as the Family’s concerned those Folks are spot on.
Coyotes, Skunks, Raccoons and Snakes have all tried to find a way into The Chicken Coop at one Time or another, that Cheyenne’s Brother-in-Law, Duffy, had made for her Mama, but to no avail.  The Coop, over Time, had proven to be Critter Proof.
Cheyenne knew the SunSet Chicken and Goose Parade Drill by Heart, but on this particular evening, Mama decided, out-of-the-blue, that she wanted to introduce Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck to their Visitin’ Relatives.
Cheyenne Loved All Creatures Great and Small, too, so she thought nothin’ of her Mama’s unexpected whim.
“Sounds good to me, Mama,”  Cheyenne said as they walked up onto the front porch of her Mama’s House.  “Let me stick my head into the door and have Uncle Jay and Aunt Jean come outside to meet Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck.”
But before Cheyenne could get one more word out of her mouth, Mama walked right past her through the front door, and into her House with Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck tucked under her arms.
“Jay, I want to introduce you and Jean to Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck.  She’s the Sweetest Chicken in the yard,”  Mama announced, smiling broadly.
Uncle Jay’s bright blue eyes got really big and bulgy.  “Is that a real Chicken you’ve got there, Peg ?”
“About as real as they come, Jay”  Mama continued to proudly beam.  “She waits right outside the Chicken Coop Door every evening for me to pick her up, and place her up on her little perch to roost with the other Chickens.  She won’t go in unless I put her in.”
“Ahem, well, Peg.  That’s a mighty fine lookin’ Chicken.  But I’m of the mind that Chickens are for pluckin’ and eatin’, not for spoilin’ and pettin’.”
“Oh, Jay, you’re always pullin’ somebody’s leg.  Don’t be so squeamish.  Here, pet Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck just under her beak.  She loves to be scratched there.”
Mama did not wait for Jay to reply to her suggestion.  She merely held Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck close to Uncle Jay, and began to pet her under her beak.
Uncle Jay squirmed in his seat uncomfortably, and said, “I’m not pettin’ any Chicken, ever.”
Aunt Jean, who had also been sitting in dismayed quietude, finally spoke out.  “Oh, Jay….”
“Don’t you ’Oh, Jay’ me, Jean.  I’m not lettin’ you or anybody else Hen-Peck me into doin’ somethin’ I have no intention of doin’.  If you think pettin’ this Chicken is such a good idea, you do it.  Go on.  Let’s see you pet a gol-durned, Fluffy, Black Chicken.”
With that, Aunt Jean, reached out tentatively and pet Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck under her beak.  “Why she’s so calm, Peggy.  I’ve never seen a Chicken so sweet and calm.”
“Good Lord, you Women !”  Uncle Jay exclaimed.  “I can’t believe that y’all are makin’ over a BarnYard Bird inside the House.  I have never seen the likes.”
Duffy, not wanting to see Mama’s feelings hurt by Uncle Jay’s effusive proclamations, said, “Heck, Jay.  This is nothin’.  When I got home from work one day, I was greeted by a boat load of Chickens in my kitchen.  They had slipped through the Dog Door, and were chowin’ down on the Dog Food left over in the Dog Bowls.  And the Dogs were just sittin’ there starin at ’em, and letting ’em get by with it !  Ha, ha !  Those Dogs gave a whole new meanin’ to yella-bellied, Chicken-Livered, cowardice !”
“Not more than a week or two later, when all of us were comin’ into the House to play some table games, someone left the back door open, and our miniature horse, Rango, that everyone had been pettin’ on before we decided to come inside, pranced right on into the Utility Room after all of us.  I guess he thought he’d give playin’ Trivial Pursuit a shot !  Ha, ha !”
Uncle Jay laughed and quipped, “You should have played a game Horse Shoes.  Bet ‘ole Rango would have out pitched you all !”
Cheyenne, greatly appreciative for Duffy’s diversionary efforts added, ‘Yeah, when it comes to Southern Comfort and this Family Our Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck runs a close second to Our Fluffy, Red-necked, Duffy.”
Everyone laughed and began Sharin’ more humorous Family Stories.
“Mama, you sit down with everyone else.  I’ll put Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck to bed for you, and be right back,”  Cheyenne offered.
“Oh, thank you, honey.  I’m sure that she’s had enough excitement for one evening.”
“She’s not the only one,”  Uncle Jay added good naturedly.  “Wish I got treated as well as that cock-a-mamey Bird does.”
“Jay, you keep that up, and you’ll be roostin’ with the rest of those cock-a-mamey Birds for the rest of this evening’”, Aunt Jean retorted with a mischievous grin.
Cheyenne slipped out the front door with Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck safely secured under her arm.  As she placed the Sweetest Chicken in the whole BarnYard on her little wooden perch for the evening, Cheyenne said,  “Yes, Mama’s dyin’ of Breast Cancer.  But because of Moments in Time like this with Family, Friends and you, Fluffy, Black, Madame Cluck-Cluck, Mama’s Busy Livin’.  Thank you.”

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