By the time I was 5 years old,
my mother was well established in her beauty shop over the drugstore
on the Monroe side of Alderson. My aunt Evelyn, mother's sister, had
her beauty shop in Ronceverte where Rt. 63 meets Rt. 219. Evelyn's house
was the third house from the north corner and I use to go there and
spend a few days with her every now and then.
On the west side of her house was the
house of the Ballards, who were relatives of ours. My grandmother
was originally a Ballard. Mr. Ballard was a farmer and had moved to
Ronceverte from the country. I had always suspected he was renting
the house from my aunt. I think she owned all the land out to the
street. Mr. Ballard also raised chickens and I use to see them
running around when I would visit.
There are only two reasons I know for
raising chickens and that's for eggs and chicken dinners. If you
want to have more chickens, you have to have the rooster. And there was my dilemma.
As I spent more time there, the
rooster became more familiar than I wanted. First he would just
charge at me and If I didn't move he would go away. He would also
charge Mr. Ballard, but he would kick him back a bit and the rooster
would leave Mr. Ballard alone. But to me, he became more aggressive
and to avoid the confrontation I would spend most of the time in the
house. But a lad of five has a strong desire to play outside so I
would watch out the window to see if the rooster was there, and if
he wasn't, I could go out to play. But I kept a eye out for that
This scenario worked well until
the rooster caught me outside. As usual he would charge me and I
would run back in the house. By now he wasn't just running after me,
he was now jumping up to spur me in the face.
I was on the side of the house
and the door, of course, was on the front. As I ran to
go inside I saw the door was closed. My aunt's shop was in
the room to the right where you would enter so as I continued to
circle the house, my plan was to holler for help as I passed by the
next time around.
was approaching the front of the house, and the rooster hot on my
trail, I hardly had time to yell out to her, but I did.
"Evelyn!" "Open the door!", and I yelled it again as I started for
another trip around the house. This time, when I reached the front, I yelled
as loud as I could and kept yelling it as I continued around the end
of the house. "Evelyn!" "Open the door!". "Evelyn!" "Open the door!"
I was now beginning to get tired
and the rooster didn't seem to ready give up. Fortunately, Evelyn
had heard me on the second pass and came out on the porch to see what
I was yelling about. In about two steps I was up on the porch. She
had the door open and I was half way through the house before
know how many encounters I had with that rooster, but I was just hoping
I would grow up enough so I could kick the snot out that bird like
Mr. Ballard did. As it
turned out, I did grow up, but it was long after that rooster was
dead. I hope he was thinking about me when he died.