Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Sunday Story

It was the Henderson's turn to host the preacher for Sunday dinner after church and Mama, somewhat reluctantly, had sacrificed several of the young chickens she'd been planning to trade for sugar, coffee and calico at the nearby Mercantile. Every last one of the young uns needed new shoes too, what with winter coming on. 

But the pride of the family rested on how well the preacher was fed at their house so Mama fried up four young cockerels in the big black frying pan atop the Modern Maid cook stove.  Snowy biscuits, green beans simmered with sidemeat, creamed corn, smothered potatoes, turnip greens with vinegar and chopped onions, home-churned butter, an assortment of jams and jellies and pickles crowded the table, along with pitchers of sweet milk and buttermilk.  Mama looked at her work and saw that it was good.

The family waited, heads bowed and hands folded while the preacher asked a blessing. No sooner was the 'Amen' out of the preacher's mouth than he reached for the platter of fried chicken and scooped up two large pieces of white meat.  

"That ol' preacher can sure hide him some fried chicken!" Little Clete whispered to his brother as the platter made a circuit of the table and the preacher  reached for more. He talked and he munched and he reached for more till a pile of chicken bones grew on the table beside his plate. 

As the meal continued and the platter of chicken was reduced to a wing, a back, and a gizzard, Papa whispered to Mama and she rose, with a look of thunder on her face, and made her way to the kitchen.

If the preacher heard the back door slam or the clucking of chickens scurrying for cover, he gave no sign but just reached for that last wing.

If he heard the thunk of the axe on the stump or the sizzle and crackle of more chicken parts hitting the frying pan, it didn't stop him from accepting the back and gizzard when the platter came round again.


And when Mama returned, her mouth set in a tight line and her eyes steely, the preacher didn't notice her lowering expression but smiled happily  and helped himself to another piece of white meat as the second platter of hot fried chicken was set before him.

But even preachers finally get their fill and as Mama was clearing the table, the preacher leaned back with a deep sigh of satisfaction.

Just outside, the rooster began to crow long and loud. The preacher smiled indulgently.  "Just listen to that feller, won't you? Don't he sound proud?"


"Humph!" snorted Mama as she collected the pile of chicken bones from beside the preacher's plate and piled them on the second empty platter. "You'd crow too if you had six sons in the ministry."


Only the first photo is mine. The others are from the Internet.
 
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23 comments:

Stephanie D. said...

Hah! Great ending!

Bernie said...

"I am woman hear me roar"....and that is a good Sunday Story...Hugs

Martin H. said...

I enjoyed the story, Vicki. Great punchline at the end!

Amy said...

Vicki, I just had to tell you- I picked up a copy of "The Dark Season" at a used book store and I was delighted to discover that it was autographed when I brought it home. What a nice surprise! Thank you for this summer of delightful reading.

Pat in east TN said...

I really got a kick out of reading your story ... love the ending!

Elora said...

MM says Mama should have fried the last two with the feathers ON! Seems I've seen far too many preachers around here just like that! And I don't remember ever seeing a skinny one!

Elora

Kaye Barley said...

Terrific story - Thank You!!!!!

Bouncin' Barb said...

Hi Vicki.. That was great. The next time I see fried chicken I will certainly think of you and I'm sure a smirky smile will appear on my face. And when everyone wants to know what I'm grinning about I'll just say that I'm thinking about a preacher!

Louise said...

That was a very enjoyable Sunday story. Now, all I want to know is, what the heck took me so long to find your blog?

Looking forward to many days of enjoyable reading.

Brian Miller said...

haha. nice tail...smiles. some are called to give it all...perhaps he will get a sermon out of this if he notices...lol.

NCmountainwoman said...

What a great story. It's a wonder those preachers never tired of fried chicken.

Vicki Lane said...

This was actually a joke my great aunt Tellie Northcutt told me many years ago. I still love it.

Amy -- So glad you enjoyed IN A DARK SEASON!

Mountainwoman -- I'm not sure I would ever get tired of good home fried chicken -- I'd like the opportunity to try ...

Vicki Lane said...

This was actually a joke my great aunt Tellie Northcutt told me many years ago. I still love it.

Amy -- So glad you enjoyed IN A DARK SEASON!

Mountainwoman -- I'm not sure I would ever get tired of good home fried chicken -- I'd like the opportunity to try ...

Deanna said...

Hehehehe - that was funny. Made me laugh out loud.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- great story! Writing seems to come so easy to your pen. -- barbara

chiccoreal said...

Dear Vicki: This story is a panic! Laughed my head off just like those poor chickens in the ministry! The lead-up was so smooth I was caught unawares which is a brilliant lead up to the one liner comedy routine. Mama sounds like a hoot, what a character, what a riot! Swear she is a real person, she's got that particular verve. A bit of Vicki? Love the accountrements and minute details in the story; I certainly felt I was right there eating those chickens!

Victoria said...

LOL, that was a great story, Vicki! Loved the punchline at the end. I love the first picture, too, it conveys so well the feeling of an impending storm.

Vicki Lane said...

Glad you all enjoyed it! As I said, I've always loved this story my Great Aunt Tellie told me years ago.

Helen T said...

I love the photo of the church. It reminds me of St. Andrew UMC in Floyd Dale SC near where I grew up. The church was the only way to know you were in Floyd Dale. I love those old churches that dot the Carolina countryside.

Helen T said...

I love the photo of the church. It reminds me of St. Andrew UMC in Floyd Dale SC near where I grew up. The church was the only way to know you were in Floyd Dale. I love those old churches that dot the Carolina countryside.

Helen T said...

Sorry my post posted twice and sorry I have to post to correct myself - the name of the church is Mt. Andrew, not St. Andrew.

Vicki Lane said...

I do that all the time, Helen -- post twice.

I didn't think St. Andrew sounded very Methodist.

Tipper said...

Great story! In the land of Baptists-everyone has a joke about Preachers coming home for sunday dinner. Yours was a good one!