Sep 03 2012

Chicken A La Cabra…

Published by at 12:40 pm under News

I remember the time when a lot of families in Cabra had chickens in their back gardens. I also remember my Da’ arriving home from work with a box full of little yellow chicks on the back of his bike. The little things were all chirping with excitement and sure don’t you know we as kids were no different. The next thing was the Da’ and the brothers were at it hammer and nails putting up a chicken shed. This was built onto the back of our already existing tool shed (As the Da’ called it) with a door going from one into the other.

Now I have to tell you that the timber they used was old stuff they found on the dump up near the Cabra Baths. Then it was off to into town to buy rolls of chicken wire to fence the whole thing in. Be the jakers there was great excitement altogether. The neighbours were all hanging over the garden fences to have a good gawk and the ould chat was ninety. The Ma’ was thrilled skinny at the idea of fresh eggs every morning for her breakfast. And of course us kids had to go bragging about it all over the neighbourhood. I suppose we felt that having chickens somehow lifted us up a few steps on the social ladder.

Now a couple of stories about those chickens. First off I remember sitting at our kitchen table one day while the Ma’ was standing over at the sink getting the dinner ready. Well the next thing was two of the brothers came charging in the front door and straight out the back door…followed by our granny. She was out for blood. The lads ran into the shed and through the door into the chicken run. Well if the poor ould granny didn’t follow close on their heels, she was a determined woman alright. The two boys scuttled out through the little space that the Da’ had made for the chickens to run about in the fresh air. As they passed by the door of the shed one of the lads flipped the bolt on the door and locked the poor granny inside. She couldn’t manage to squeeze out through the little opening as the two boys did.

I was still at the table and the Ma’ was still at the sink as the two brothers came flying through the house again and out the front door. After about ten minutes the Ma’ turned around and said to me ‘Did I see your granny go out the back’? So with that I was sent out to see where granny had got to. I heard her banging on the shed door to be let out so I pulled the bolt and let her loose. Well she was like a raging bull spitting and screaming ‘Where are they, I’ll kill them two little bugger if I get me hands on them’. And then she too ran through the house after the two lads who were well gone by this stage.

Now when those little chicks eventually grew up we had one in particular that for some reason or other we called ‘Old Mother Carey’. Our kitchen table was always over by the window and sometimes Mother Carey would hop up onto the window sill and peck on the window for us to let her in. She’d stroll across the table pucking out of her as she scanned around for something to eat. Eventually she ended up on the table for dinner. Now she’s in ‘Chicken Heaven…’


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