Cowards and Christmas Chickens

Cowards and Christmas Chickens

The first time I killed a chicken by myself was in 1993 December, in my parents house in Lagos. I nearly kill myself join.

Thanks to my early love for horror movies the sight of blood did not scare me, but I was appalled by the idea of killing something that actually lived and breathed. Besides, I hated the shrieking of the chickens and would not have volunteered that year had it not been for Peju.

She was the daughter of a neighbor; a single mother who lived directly opposite my parents’ house. Absolutely gorgeous; petite complete with blue eyes and yellow hair (more like black eyes/hair; blame romance novels), and she liked me. I did not know events in the cosmos had conspired to help me make a fool of myself that year.

What happened was this: my immediate elder brother who usually did the slaughtering was away in the university; his first year in there and so, probably feeling like a ‘big boy’ refused to come home. The first three, all boys and older than him were out of the country. It was just me, my kid sister who was too young to hold anything bigger than a Barbie doll, our parents and Peju who was in my house because her whole family was away on a spiritual retreat and did not want her along. I was too excited to wonder why.

So Christmas morning dawned, and with it came the question who would do the honors of killing the innocent chicken. Truthfully, I was scared witless and would have stayed hidden in my room had Peju not come to tell me my mum was about to do it herself and then added that she; Peju, was scared like I was which is why she came in my room.

I was angry. Here I was with my ‘dream girl’, and she believed me a coward. I had to redeem myself so – jumping up and speaking in what I thought was a Barry White baritone but was actually a teenage squeak, I asked why mother would bother herself when I was in the house. As I walked towards the kitchen, Peju ran after me and held my hand. I was in heaven.

When I got there, my mum was about to do the deed and I drew back, hoping it would be done before I was noticed. I had forgotten that Peju was with me.

“Seun is here, mummy. He’s here to kill the chicken,” she said (or words to that effect). All the love I had for her evaporated that instant and I snatched my hand from hers, hating her with all of me. I walked on leaden feet towards the sink where mum was, also hating her for forgetting how young I was.

“I’m your baby!” I must have screamed at her telepathically, but she did not hear me, a small smile playing around her lips as she handed me the knife. My hand was shaking so bad I nearly dropped it, but I gripped it harder and climbed on the stool mum placed against the sink for me.

The chicken was bigger than I remembered.

Suddenly its eyes and beak looked really big, reminiscent of the ones I saw on the pterodactyls in the movie Jurassic Park; looking ready to pluck my eyes out. I was afraid, and only the thought that Peju was behind me stopped me from running out of there.

I gripped the chicken’s head as I had seen my brothers do countless times and started sawing the knife back and forth around the neck area, standing in such a way that my body blocked their (mum and Peju’s) view of what I was doing. Within moments I had the chicken’s throat open to the bone and it had stopped struggling, blood spurting sluggishly. Without checking properly, I grabbed it and, moving quickly, dunked it in the pot of boiling water prepared for shedding its feathers.

I dimly recall my mom shouting ‘duro!!!!’, which is ‘wait’ in Yoruba but it was drowned in a loud ‘SQUAARKKK!!!!!!!’ as the chicken, which was only half-dead reacted violently, spraying everyone in the kitchen with boiling water. As I was standing in front of the pot, I got the worst of it. I don’t remember what happened clearly but mum says I screamed, hurled the knife one way and myself the other. All I remember is I never entered the kitchen again that year.

Somehow mum caught me and applied honey on the burns on my arms and most of my chest area, clucking and shaking her head. Fortunately she and Peju had only been lightly touched by the spray. I was so ashamed.

When it was time to eat, I stared at my piece of chicken, half-expecting it to jump out of the plate and attack me. And Peju? She just held my hand through dinner, feeling sorry for me and making me hate myself more. But she never told a soul; which is partly why I carried a torch for her for a long time.

When my brothers came back and heard the story, they laughed and laughed after which they christened me ‘Mr. Hot Chicken’. For the first few months the name annoyed me, but after a while either I outgrew the offense or they moved on, I don’t remember.

Peju’s married now but I still run into her every now and then when I visit, during which she winks, smiles and whispers ‘Mr. Hot Chicken’.

I know.

83 thoughts on “Cowards and Christmas Chickens” by Seun-Odukoya (@Seun-Odukoya)

  1. Hmmnnn…
    That makes two of us, lolz.
    Nice one bro.

    1. Seriously?!?! Imagine that!

  2. hehehe, I enjoy am.

    1. Trust me, it wasn’t fun then…but now, thinking back on it…I cannot help but have a wide grin on my face.

      Yep, memories.

      1. Na so e dey be.

        Wait till when u kill ur first cow, abi u don kill cow sef?

        1. Nope.

          But I don kill pigs and crocodiles.

          Not bad, hey?

  3. If na me I go chop the chicken with vex eh, lol… Well done bro.

    1. Omo…you wanna try the massive mastication?! Plus bone and everything – I nearly revenge on the feathers sef!!!


  4. Hehehe! Very funny, I did better, atleast I dodged the hot water spray…

    1. Jackie Chan skills abi?

      I envy you o. Still got some scars…

  5. Hehehe! Quite a funny one. I can just image every bit of the scene of false bravery. Back then, growing up, I always specialize in plucking the feathers. Good thing I have my cousins around to always do the honours of cutting the neck and slaughtering… Something I’m yet to do till date… Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks man…I’m glad i was able to remind you of those sweet sweet memories…

      Bless God.

  6. Read the story through with a smile on my face. I even came up with another title for your story – Christmas Chicken Crush. Representing the crush for Peju ãήϑ how the chicken ‘splashed’ your ego. My favourite so far! Well done

    1. Thank you so much Ife. Thank you.

      Bless God.

    2. Me, my title for this is ‘Mr Hot Chicken’…LOL!!

      1. Okay o.

        Ever tried to eat ‘hot chicken’ before…?\

        Your body go tell you why…

  7. Laughed thru it, it’s funny we all have gals related false moral boosts. Nice story really.

    1. Yes o….We can NOT underplay the importance and significance of the women in our lives…

      Thank you. Bless God.

  8. Really funny but have really serious for you then. It is Christmas nostalgia indeed.

    1. Yeah man…really serious.

      It was the girl that made everything so big dealish…

      Thank you. Bless God.

  9. @Excellency,…hmm, ok…true tok! Don’t we all remember our chickens and crushes? Ife Watson, great coinage there. This is something I can share too…
    Sometimes, it seems that we have to talk like many of these judges would. *clearing throat…
    @Seun, you wrote well. You entertained really good…if you lied, you lied well… If it is the truth, you sure have to thank your stars for helping you weave it all the way. My brother, you have one of my votes. Life!

    1. Thank you so much Sue’eddie…thank you so much.

      I did not lie outrightly…the story is true…but I couldn’t remember the sequence word for word…

      Thank you again. Bless God.

  10. This most likely will be getting my vote… I can’t kill does things… the way did you try to do it again eventually?

    1. Did you say ‘try again’?!?!

      I’m a professional!!!!

      Lol…thank you. Bless God.

  11. Very very nice and straight to the point. Kudos!

    1. Thank you.

      Bless God.

  12. Now, this is the first post suitable for this contest. And guess who wrote it??
    We musketeers no dey fail!
    Seun, I was so impressed that I had to scroll to check the writer, when I see say na you….
    You pass them!

    1. Hehehehehehehe…Kaycee, I no pass anybody o.

      But I understand the sentiment and I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

      Bless God. The mantle won’t fall from us.

  13. A good one, but na Seun now, wouldn’t have expected less. Makes two ‘killing chicken’ story we have here.

    Well done!!!

    1. Thank you Lawal. Thank you.

      You humble me, honestly. I really appreciate that.

      Bless God.

      1. Anytime Seun.Havent been able to kill those things till date anyway.

        1. NO!!!!!

          You’re kidding…right?!

  14. I love this. likely to get my vote but got to read the others. its so funny how many people experience ” I thought it was dead” thing with chickens. I had a similar experience too

    1. That’s what unifies us as humans – the common experience we share.

      I hope I get your vote. Thank you.

      Bless God.

  15. Hmmm… Mr. Seun had his chance to be THE MAN and blew it. But who am I to attack you when I’ve never even attempted to kill one before.

    I enjoyed it. Madly.


    1. Thank you so much Tosyn!

      But I didn’t blow it o…me and her had….

      Bless God.

  16. Lol. Very funny. Never killed one before so I can only imagine. Great piece.

    1. Thank you so much!

      Do vote…ya heard?!

      Lol…Bless God.

  17. Ok. Sincerely, this is the cool story I’ve read since @excellency. This might just get my second vote. well done.

    1. Thank you, sweetie goosie!!!

      Bless God.

      1. …And by the way, was just wondering. There’s this girl back in secondary school who shares your surname and fits the description you gave of your sister. Like, I knew she was the last kid n only eve n a lagosian. Was just wondering if she is related to you. Yeside was/is her name.

        1. Don’t think my sister’s named Yeside but who knows? Maybe she remixed the original thing. I did/do think girls sometimes are screwy about names…

          What school is that…?

  18. AHHH, i really liked this one, humour et al. Dont think i can ever kill a chicken though. Welldone Mr. hot chicken. lol!

    1. Haba!

      Who will do the killing…bros?!?!

      Thank you…bless God!

  19. lol. very funny story.nostalgia indeed. I really liked it and it should get my vote

    1. Thank you so much!

      Bless God.

  20. Got me laughing in the middle of the night. Great job! Hahaha!

    1. I’m glad I was able to do that. It is a big deal; made more so by the fact that you most likely were writing a horror something!

      Thank you; bless Him.

  21. Murderer not musketeer juo!
    Nice one…funny too.
    A winner for me…

    1. If truly you believe I’m a murderer…why would you love me…so much?

      Thank you dearie…bless God.

  22. lol !…funny, I liked it , surely you’ll do well at the polls , good job :)

    1. Thank you so much for that vote of confidence.

      Thank you. Bless God.

  23. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Seun, why did I expect better from you? Perhaps because you are one of the old hands here. I liked the story, very much. Liked that you too your time to tell it, like that the humour in it is palpable. I however can’t shake off the feeling that you could’ve done way better. I have said “best so far”to two stories prior to this, but yours is now on top.

    1. Thank you very much…I feel really flattered that you expect more/better from me – too whom much is given much is expected.

      I was restricted…after all I’m giving accounts of a true story.

      There is a difference between writing fiction and true-life stuff after all…

      Thank you…bless God.

  24. I loved the humor and young love aspect of the story. Of course, most Nigerians will identify with the Christmas Chicken aspect of it, and yes some of us have had to do the deed before too, if a lot better than your teenage self, lol..

    1. Don’t blame me for that…lol.

      Yeah…even the comments agree with your observation. What can I say? Some take to killings better than others I guess! Lol.

      Thank you…bleSs God.

  25. Trying 2 muffle a belly laugh at 1:30am so as not 2 wake my mum is pretty difficult considering d fact dat dis is a hilarious piece and something quite like this happened 2 my younger bro d last xmas, without a ‘peju’ though..I love the way I can hear mum’s footsteps..musta woken her,.maybe

    1. Shhhh! I hope you don’t get into trouble on my account.

      Hope your brother is not the worse for it….

      Thank you so much. Bless God.

  26. Nah..he z beta..guex he z learnt his lesson..mayb smeday u both wld kill a goat nd see who emerges better off..mum jst looked in nd i pretended 2 b in Milan strutting d runway in a Chanel dress..hehe..

    1. Nice one then…I’m glad nothing got popped.

      Thank you.

  27. Ok. If your sis isn’t yeside, then its no her. She was yeside right from js1 and Js1 girls don’t form names, ss 2 girls do. A federal govt girls college in ogun state. There was just so much coincidence that I had to ask. Even the age and all that. Beautiful story once again.

    1. You really must be psychic. Where did you see age in here/there?!

      Thank you again.

      1. Oh dear! You dint have to write 4years before I know she’s within that age. 1993 and barbie doll hands stuff already explained that. Sorry for haven disturbed you.

        1. No o! Haba.

          You did not disturb me. If anything – I like the way you concluded. Shows a brilliant mind.

          I apologise for making you feel that way. Honest.

          Always feel free to express whatever you feel.

  28. Hahahahaha! The chicken definitely dealt with you!
    Eeyaa…I know the feeling, trying to
    Well…I hope by now your phobia for fowls has gone and you’re better at slaughtering them..

    1. I’m allergic to phobias…I get over stuff like that real quick.

      Thank you nuts…!

  29. Ha! Mr. Seun Hot Chicken Odukoya, I don laff tire. Good job with the chicken. Better than I would have done it if it was me. Me, the only thing I can kill is a cockroach and even those ones sef, sometimes I embarrass myself… Lol!

    1. Now you feel safe enough to come out and comment abi?

      Lol…grow some balls dear friend. Win or lose…I remain.

      Thank you man…bless God.

  30. Very hilarious, things we do for love

    1. Abi ke?

      Thank you.

      Hey….how have you been?

  31. This offered some really good laughs.

    Nice one.

    1. Bless God.

      I really appreciate your comment.

  32. Last carrier that I am, I’m just reading this, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!! Good one Seun

    1. Thank you man.

      Bless God.

  33. I laughed real hard through out the entire story. For me, I think even in the simplest manner you totally killed it!!! *still laughing*

    1. I think the best of this for me – even if it was/is only for a moment…

      Is that I actually made people laugh.

      Thank you so much Ms. Savage.

      Bless God.

  34. Hehehehehehehehhhehehhheheh. Poor Chicken…i mean, poor Seun. Ilike this. Nostalgic.

    1. Thank you sir/madam!

      I’m grateful.

  35. Hehehehehehehehehe! Well written!

    1. @jonnysnow

      Thank you. Bless God.

  36. Love struck, hot water baptized…and still d dream girl got away….sad sad…lol

    1. @topazo


      Verrrry funny.

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