BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 17

Wild violets grew in the woodlands surrounding my homeplace at Banner Mountain.

Thinking of the wild violets, I remember how we children played a game using the flowers. We picked some of the violets and when we hooked two blooms together and pulled on each stem, one of the blooms snapped off its stem. We called them rooster flowers and that was a pretend rooster fight. Always a winner in that game.

Just as sure as real roosters, hens and bantam chickens were a part of our life at the homeplace, the rooster flowers were a part of our springtime. How beautiful the little blue-violet flowers were. I saw the violets and other lovely wild flowers every day when I was a child. They appeared early in spring, like magic.

I still recall the day my brother, Billy, brought home a little bantam rooster. Billy set him down in the barnyard.  And right away a big rooster ran over to the little rooster and began a fight.  Bill picked up a chip of wood and threw it at the big rooster. The chip of wood struck the big rooster and he fell over dead!  What now? That was Mama’s big, old rooster. Oh, no! I witnessed the entire event. Looking back, it was the only way that Billy could save his little bantam. The only way. Even though I saw it all, I was never called in to testify as to what had happened to Mama’s rooster.

And now, after all these years, I don’t remember what happened to the bantam rooster either. Did he grow old and die a natural death? I guess that’s not important. Perhaps my brother remembers. Sometimes a writer’s memory is called to a task of embellishing certain experiences. But not this experience. I can tell you that the chip of wood buzzed as it whizzed toward that bullying rooster!  Billy really didn’t mean to kill the big ,old rooster; he only meant to protect the little one.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

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