A Chicken for Supper

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, June 25, 1912:  My Daddy gave me a lecture today. The cause was the killing of a hen whose death I might have prevented had I made more use of my eyes. We had her for supper.

The chicken that we had last night for supper.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What happened? How did Grandma not notice something that led to the death of a chicken?

I asked my father about this entry. He thinks that the chicken might have been injured by a dog.

In rural areas dogs often are allowed to roam free—and perhaps a neighbor’s dog wondered onto the Muffly farm and attacked a hen. Maybe Grandma didn’t notice the dog –or ignored it.

In any case chicken for supper sounds good—so good in fact that I decided to roast a chicken for dinner last night.

An aside—When my children were in soccer and little league, I often put a chicken or roast in the oven before games (as well as some baking potatoes)—and the meal would be ready to eat when we home.

9 thoughts on “A Chicken for Supper

    1. I also thought that it was nice to see him mentioned. It seems odd that he is so seldom mentioned in the diary. Based on the diary entries, Grandma appears to be closer to her mother than her father. Maybe he generally was too busy with farm work to be very involved in the day-to-day activities of the children.

  1. Interesting that she refers to the hen as “her” and not “it.” I think because back then kids knew exactly where their meat/poultry came from, and if it was male or female; it wasn’t an abstract notion that assembly line slaughterhouses enable today. I believe people who eat meat should know exactly what the animal goes through to get to their stomach, and choose as humanely as possible.

    1. You’re right–they may have stewed the hen, particularly if it was old.

      I can’t figure out how she might have prevented the hen’s death if she’d used her eyes.

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