It was the week after Easter. My father wasn’t home from work yet. My mother was in the kitchen cooking supper when she called into the living room to me, “Put that chicken on the porch. It’s driving me crazy.”
I’m watching cartoons. I did hear her but was totally confused by the request. My parents were always big sticklers for me and my two siblings to do what they told us to do, when they told us to do it, so I didn’t question her. I immediately went into the kitchen and grabbed the plate of fried chicken and set it out on the porch. Mission has been completed so I go back to watching cartoons again.
About ten minutes later my dad walks in and asks, “Edna, why are the dogs out there eating a plate of fried chicken?”
At this point I’m still unconcerned. Life is good. I’m enjoying my show on television, but a second later my mom flies out of the kitchen like her apron is on fire. She looks around the room for a moment before finally leveling a look on me that should have been prefixed with a warning bell. I’m still not too concerned until she points the spatula at me. “I told you to put the chicken on the porch.”
So far we’re both in agreement so I say, “Yes, ma’am.”
“Why did you put our supper out there instead of the chicken?”
Okay. She’s totally lost me. My little brain is trying to catch up so I’m just staring at her with a blank look on my face. She points at the little chick sitting in a cardboard box near the door to the kitchen. It was an Easter gift to my little brother. I follow the finger of doom to the chicken and finally realize she meant "the chicken” and not ‘the chicken". I had been so lost in the cartoon I hadn’t noticed the chick’s constant, "cheep, cheep, cheep”.
It was my first and only experience with being sent to bed without supper. I’m certain I deserved it because really no one got to eat the nice meal my mom had worked so hard on that night. I guess I got the last laugh though, because while they were in the kitchen bemoaning the fact they didn’t have any chicken to go with their mashed potatoes, I was laying on my bed posing like a ballerina. I had decided if I died from starvation they were going to be so sorry when they saw what a pretty ballerina I made in death. I’m still not listening but no one sends me to bed without supper anymore because of it.