I grew up in a small fishing village on the north coast of British Columbia called Dodge Cove. Several of our neighbours in this village raised chickens, and one time, when I was quite young, my mother bought a few of these chickens, with the intention of killing, plucking & dressing them.

My mother is not a squeamish person. Not in the least. She was, however, new to chicken slaughter. A date was arranged for the chickens to meet their maker, and as this day drew near, she undertook a brief inquiry into the finer points of pollocide(?). She visited all the local chicken owners and their advice was consistent:

"What's there to say?"

"Cut off the head. Chicken dies."

"Piece of cake."

Soon the sun was rising on the fateful day. Or so we assume. We couldn't actually see the sun for the heavy grey clouds and misty rain. Yes, the chicken fields were slick that day. Indeed, my brother and I had great fun, running and sliding through the mud. My mother was not so amused. First, she had to catch the chickens. Chickens do not go gentle into that good night. Even, it seems, after their heads have been removed. Headless chickens ran amok, blood and head-guts splurting and mixing with the mud and the sliding children. For a short while, Chaos truly reigned.

The next day my mother regaled our chicken raising friends with the harrowing tale.

"Well shucks," they replied. "You should have hung them up by their feet for a while first. Calms them right down, so they don't run around like."