Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Gift

When we go to visit someone, we often take a small gift.  Invited for dinner?  Take a bottle of wine
or some flowers.  Staying overnight?  Take a hostess/host present.  It should be no surprise that people here also take gifts when they visit.  The gifts just aren’t the same.

Several days ago, a Central African friend studying in Cameroon came to visit me.  He has come to visit before, of course, but this time, he brought me a present – a live rooster!  Yep.  Not what I would have gotten in Pittsburgh! 

I know that those of you who live in the country or on/near a farm, will laugh at me, but I am city/suburbs raised.  Sure I’ve seen chickens and roosters – even up close.  Now, especially, I see chickens all the time as they wander around the station where I live looking for food. 

I am not ready to kill and pluck my own chicken.  I will freely admit that these are skills I don’t want to learn.  I could, I suppose, if I had to, but… 

So, for 24 hours, I left the rooster in the entry way of my house with his feet tied together.  I had arranged for a woman I know to do the killing and plucking.  Then, just for some variety, I had her cook it for me, too, so I could have a more African sauce.  (Really, it was pretty much what we eat with some vegetables, oil, and, of course, the rooster.)  It was nice not to have to cook a meal yesterday as well. 

While he was visiting, the rooster made little noise – certainly not crowing in the morning.  He ate grains of rice, drank and then spilled water, and defecated.  Repeat various times.  He even managed to get on top the microwave to roost by the end of his “visit” with me. 

As do others here, I take presents sometimes when I visit.  I have to say, though, I probably won’t be taking a live chicken.  Yes, they sell them in the market, but how does one pick a healthy chicken among those for sale?  I have seen people care them in various ways – upside down by the feet, sort of nestled in the crook of the arm, and in a bag.  Still not something I want to learn…

It is appropriate that the neighbor’s rooster is crowing outside my door as I write!  Chicken and vegetables anyone?


1 comment:

  1. I remember getting some chickens as gifts, too...Glad you enjoyed it!