Through Any Given Door ~ Catherine Sevenau

Catherine Sevenau Catherine Sevenau is a writer, humorist, and storyteller living in Sonoma, California. The stories in this series are excerpts from her book, Through Any Given Door, a Family Memoir. The full memoir is available as a web series at Sevenau.com. A longtime Realtor and Owner/Broker at CENTURY 21 Wine Country, she can be reached at [email protected]

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Then he fainted

Posted on December 4, 2021 by Catherine Sevenau

Chapter 23: 1946 • Sonora ~ On a sunny Saturday, Mom brought home six-dozen chicks from the feed store and enclosed them in the safety of the chicken coop. The next day, Carleen, Betty, and Claudia gently carried them from the pen to the front yard, cradling the soft chicks inside their tops, smelling their soft down, and one by one delivered them carefully to the ground to play under the shady elm. Lying in a triangle with their chins on the grass to watch the itty-bitty balls of tuft bob and root around for bugs in the fresh grass, the girls corralled them with their skinny arms to keep the tiny peepers from wandering, their six legs sticking out of their white summer jumpers.

Betty, Claudia, Carleen, 1946

A medium-sized stray dog silently scaled the wall into our front yard. In a frenzied ambush, it went after the downy babies like a madman at a massacre. The girls were hysterical.

“DAAADYYY!!!” they screamed. Dad flew out the door, grabbed a shovel from the shed, bolted to the front, and cracked the long-haired mongrel on its black and white head, splitting its cranium clean open like a watermelon at a country social. He didn’t mean to kill it. Staggering to the stone wall that bordered our yard, Dad bowed and threw up. Then he fainted. 

When the kids roused him to an upright position and his color came back, he lurched to the police station to make a report (we didn’t have a phone), and they sent the Humane Society to pick up the carcass.

The girls tenderly carried the few remaining chicks back to their pen and tearfully buried the others. They sat tightly together on the porch, their skinned elbows on their scruffy knees, their chins cupped in their hands, and watched woebegone while Dad slowly cleaned the shovel. He quietly put it away in the corner on the shed, wobbled across the porch through the front screen door, and crumpled to the flowered overstuffed chair.

To be continued…

Catherine Sevenau is a writer, humorist, and storyteller living in Sonoma, California. The stories in this series are excerpts from her book, Through Any Given Door, a Family Memoir, available as a series at Sevenau.com. She is a longtime Broker/Realtor at CENTURY 21 Epic Wine Country. [email protected]

 



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