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Be careful when showing off for girls

Mountain Tales: First-hand stories of life in Tehachapi


June 22, 2019

Jon Hammond

"When I was growing up, a lot of people didn't pen up their chickens during the day – they'd just let them scratch around for seeds and bugs, and then shut them in at night to protect them from raccoons and other animals.

A farmer who raised a lot of them and sold the eggs usually kept them in chicken coops, but if you just had a handful of hens for your own use, you'd just turn them out during the day.

One day when I was just a kid there were some girls visiting, and I wanted to show them how to suck an egg. People these days don't even know what that is, but back when people went hungry more often, you'd sometimes eat a raw egg when you found one. It wasn't as good as cooked, of course, but better than going hungry. You just make a small hole in one end, then make a bigger hole in the other end and suck the raw egg out completely without breaking the shell. Well, I looked around the yard for a minute and found an egg and got ready to show off that trick to these girls, and it went fine – until I found out that it was a rotten egg that had been overlooked for a long time.

I ran around a shed and spit out that horrible egg. And ya know, that broke me of sucking eggs after that!

– Henry Hand


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