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The case of the missing chicken


Where is my chicken?

Where is my chicken?

This morning I bought groceries. 2.03 pounds of bananas, 2.65 pounds of Romaine lettuce, two bunches of organic carrots, .71 pounds of swiss chard, one five pound bag of Fuji apples, a loaf of whole wheat bread and two pounds of hamburger meat, veal and ground pork to make a meat loaf.

And I bought a chicken. I put an organic chicken in my cart that was 2.09 dollars a pound. Then I walked down the aisle and saw a chicken that was on sale. It wasn’t organic but it was free-range and five dollars less. Before I put the new chicken in my cart, I took the organic chicken out of my cart and put it back with all the other organic chickens. Then I pushed my cart to the bread aisle and picked out a loaf of bread.

Driving home I thought about what I wanted to put in the roasting pan with the chicken. Yes,today I would be prepared and cook nice things for my family.

When I came home I turned on the oven to 450 degrees, lined the roasting pan with tin foil and cut fresh rosemary, sage and thyme from my garden to put in the roasting pan with the chicken.

The pan is ready.

The pan is ready.

I opened the bags from the grocery store looking for my chicken. Where is my chicken?  I looked in all the bags, checked in the fridge, looked in the back of the van, and tried to remember where I put my chicken.

There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.
― Harold Pinter

Maybe Harold knows where my chicken is? I asked my youngest daughter, “Timber, did you see my chicken?”

“No, Mom. Did you buy one?”

“I thought I did, where is my receipt?”

I found the receipt for Staples, Target, A.C. Moore, and TJMax, and then I found the receipt for Giant: bananas, lettuce, carrots, swish chard, apples, meat and bread.

No chicken.

I didn’t buy a chicken.

There was no chicken for lunch today. I ate steamed swiss chard and two sardines from a can. I will use the cut herbs in the meat loaf for supper tonight. And, the next time I go shopping I will put a chicken in my cart.

Have you ever lost a chicken? Please tell me in the comments, I really want to know. Maybe you lost a loaf of bread, or a gallon of milk?


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I’ve never lost a chicken – come to think of it, I’ve never bought one. My wife takes care of that. But funny thing: my 1st job was at Giant bagging groceries. Great story!

    • Dave, so you have never bought a chicken, but you have probably bagged a chicken. I wonder if your wife has ever lost a chicken?

      And, thank you for the encouragement!

  • La McCoy

    Love this. I don’t have any chicken.

    • Did you lose your chicken Laura?

      • La McCoy

        Chicken is not good for my immune system.

  • Maybe the chicken was fresher than you thought.
    Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    As far as my shopping excursions. I’ve made enough trips BACK to the store so now I check and re-check, not caring if the cashier feels i’m questioning her. I’m not. I just don’t want to go back to the store.

    Great post.

  • Well, there have been a couple of times that I’ve walked out of the store after paying without my purchase. The other day, I bought some new pens to write with from Staples. When I got home, I noticed there was no Staples bag, anywhere. Going back to the store wasn’t something I wanted to do. I thought about calling them and telling them I forgot my pens. Later, I was going through my purse to look for something and there were the pens. I had opted out of the bag at the checkout. Silly me.

    • Oh Shelley, how funny. You saved the store a bag, but you didn’t save yourself the stress of, “Where are my pens?”
      I don’t dare do anything that is not the same, or I forget as well. I have to park in the same area at the grocery store or I can never remember where I parked my car. And now, I will always remember to get a bag.
      Thank you for sharing your story. You made me smile. 🙂

  • Never lost a chicken. I have lost a gallon of milk once by putting it away with the rest of the…dishes?

  • writekimwrite

    This gave me a chuckle. I think you lost the chicken when you returned the organic chicken to its kind. You were probably so set on returning the one that you forgot to fetch the new chicken. I am glad your mystery was solved and it gave you a story. Aren’t stories worth no chicken at lunch? 🙂

    • Hello Kim,
      You figured it out. That is exactly what happened. You could be a detective and a teacher!
      Yes, a story is worth no chicken at lunch. Glad it gave you a chuckle.

  • Stacey Shubitz

    I love the way you started with the precise amounts of food you did purchase. There was something about the exactness of those foods that juxtaposed what happened by leaving the chicken in the store.

    I’ve been known to leave a crucial ingredient behind at the store a few times. We are human, after all.

    • Hello Stacey,
      Thank you for your comment about how the story started.

      Sometimes I forget I am human. I expect myself to not make mistakes. But even machines make mistakes, run out of gas, or have to have new memory cards put in.

  • I almost drowned a live chicken once. Does that count? 🙂

    • Yes, Joan, that counts. Poor chicken, did he not know how to swim?

      • It’s a long story, but I didn’t like the chicken, so I put her under a bucket of water. I was about five years old at the time.

  • Never lost a chicken, but I bet I’ve left at least $200 worth of blue-jeans in dryers at laundromats because they’re the last thing to finish drying and I am so ready to get out of there. I bet I’m not the only one either!

    “Lost” my car keys one evening many years ago, I was on the way to a gig, stopped for an hour or so at my girlfriend’s house, took the guitar in with me, we sang and goofed around. I’d laid my keys on an end-table, and girlfriend’s 14-year-old “baby” brother decided it’d be funny to swipe ’em and watch me sweat for a while. So he did. When it came time to head for the gig, we walked out to the car, I carrying my guitar in its cardboard case. I set it down at the trunk of my car because that was where I was gonna stow it, and reached in my pocket for my keys. No keys. So we walked back in the house, looked all over for my keys for a while ’til baby brother felt guilty enough and brought ’em out, ha ha ha. Girlfriend and I walked back out to my ’58 Chevy Impala, which the manual informed me weighed in at some 3800 lbs, got in started up and begin reversing out the driveway. CRUNCH. Did you ever just KNOW IMMEDIATELY what an unusual sound is? I knew the second it happened.

    It turned out ok that night, I was able to emergency borrow a friend’s guitar –and he had a Gibson ES-335, a lot better than my Realistic- brand (I kid you not– remember Radio Shack?) $40-dollar one. The poor thing was concave in configuration from that point on — I started to nock an arrow in the g-string to see if it any good as a bow, but just didn’t have the heart.

    Those were the days!

    • Oh no John! You ran over your guitar! Thankfully you had a guitar to play that night. I left my wallet on top of the car once, but found it later down the road.

      • Ah yes, and beverages left in that particular spot (roof of car) can be really messy; not to mention the litterin’.

  • Lee Ann Spillane

    I have indeed lost a chicken, several in fact. At last count, when we decided to pack up the coop, we’d lost 42 chickens to the Chicken Monster that must live in the nearby woods. I laughed out loud at your missing roaster. Love the details. That chicken would have tasted so good with those herbs!

    • Lee Ann, that is a lot of chickens to lose. Perhaps they ran away? Or maybe the Chicken Monster put them in his roasting pan. Today I will buy a chicken and use the herbs I got from my garden yesterday. Would you like a leg?

  • Pamela, I have lost my glasses, my keys and occasionally my temper, but I have never lost a chicken. You have elevated losing stuff to an art form.

    • Thank you Kathleen. I have lost my glasses, my keys and my temper too. I would rather lose a chicken than my temper, but my temper is often lost daily. I need to put it in a safe place and not lose it again.

  • Iya Hannum

    Haha… how about the recent losing of $160 worth of meds? Or, the scarf I lost on the way into Walmart today, didn’t realize it was gone the entire time I shopped, only to see it blow out from under my car on as I was about to pull out? It happens to the best of us 😉 I meant to say this the last few times I’ve seen you, and keep coming away berating myself for not doing so. From your “Get the skunk out of your head post”… Phillipians 4:8 is EXACTLY right… they are not just words, they are a sharp sword that you have the right and responsibility to wield. Nicely played.

    • Philippians 4:8 is one of the loveliest verses in the Bible.

    • Iya, it is a relief to know I am not the only one who misplaces things. I am glad your scarf jumped out from under your car so you didn’t drive away without it.
      And thank you for your encouragement about the skunk in my head. I will speak the truth every day now. The skunk is not welcome.

  • Dana Murphy

    Ha! I’ve done that an embarrassing number of times. Not necessarily with a whole chicken, though. I laughed out loud when you wrote “maybe Harold knows where my chicken is”. Oh well, sounds like you scrapped together a meal anyway!

    • Hello Dana,
      No chicken, but we had slightly burned meat loaf. I really need to use the timer.

  • Glad to see your website is back up and running. And yes, I do things like this all the time … not sure that will make you feel any better, but I know lots of absentminded moms losing chickens and miscellaneous things throughout the day.

    • Hello Karen,
      I am glad my website is back as well. Thank you. It was weird to not have it. Sort of like a third arm.
      And it does make me feel better to know there are other mother’s losing their chickens.

  • Kay McGriff

    I haven’t lost a chicken, but I lose my keys all the time! And too many times I’ve come home from the store without the one thing I needed to buy! I loved reading about your missing chicken and seeing the picture of the empty roasting pan!

    • Kay, I do too. I have to have a spare key in my purse for when I lock my keys in the car. Don’t you just hate that when you forget to buy something at the store?

  • Christa Sterken

    Oh friend, I can so relate. Even worse for me, is thinking I DIDN’T buy something and finding out by the smell later coming from the trunk or under a seat, that I was wrong. Always make sure perishables are accounted for, lesson learned

    • Oh dear, that could really be bad. But, I bet, you would never forget Hello Kitty in the car.