I never had felt any particular fondness for the boy. Only a sort of morbid curiosity on account of the way he looked. His deformity that is. He was my cousin’s girlfriend’s baby. That don’t make him any relation of mine, and I was baby sitting that freak of nature against my will. I had come over to enjoy a couple beers with Nolan, and then he and Sheila just up and left me alone with the little bastard.

Well, the boy looked like a chicken. I don’t know any other way of putting it. He looked like a plucked chicken bout ready to go into the oven. He had stubby, little legs with no feet to speak of, though somehow he was able to waddle around on his stumps; his arms were twisted backwards with no hands on ’em; and his body was sorta round and bulbous with these goose pimples on his loose, papery skin.

His head, I suppose, did not look much like a chicken’s. He didn’t have no beak or nothing, but he was not what you would call a handsome boy. He looked mostly like a regular kid, I guess, except that his eyes were sort of on the side of his head rather than in front, and his mouth hung open all the time with only four or five teeth in it and this thick, bubbly spittle always building up around the edges of his lips. Like the foam that washes up on the banks of the river when its particularly filthy.

He didn’t cluck neither. He made, hell, I don’t know, a sorta high pitched, honking sound, like a mix between a sick chihuahua, and a wore out bicycle horn. And he didn’t use no words, though Sheila said he was almost three. You wouldn’t a known it by looking at him since he was so ugly and only about a foot and a half tall.

He wasn’t wearing any clothes when I got there, and I didn’t think it none of my business to put any on him. I call him a boy for whatever reason, but I didn’t see no sex organs to speak of. Only this nasty little anus that would drop a load of what looked very much to me like bird shit on the floor wherever he pleased.

Now, I couldn’t say for certain that Sheila fucked a chicken, but she’s such a pervert, it wouldn’t surprise me. Nolan always comes crying to me, “Oh, no, she cheated on me again! Wah! Wah!” I tell him, “Nolan, if I was you, I’d kick that bitch outta my house with my boot on backwards.” And he did once, but he let her come back the next day. Where do you think she went? She went right over to Joey Luger’s house and spent the whole night doing God knows what with him. She even tried to start kissing on me one time, and I told her, “Woman, I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot rod unless I was smacking you upside the head with it.” She hasn’t been too friendly with me since then, though she don’t mind going off with Nolan and leaving her god damn chicken baby with me.

He was not a well behaved child. In fact, he was a downright little terror. He’d run away from you and honk and shit himself everywhere. I had to chase him all over the house, shouting, “Get over here, you little son of a bitch!” but he never minded me, which is no surprise because he never minded Nolan nor Sheila neither. I really do still believe that the boy had a death wish. So would you if you looked like that. He was always trying to cook himself one way or another. The first time I caught him he was trying to stick his little wing in the light socket. And I caught him playing on the stove, messing with the dials, but mostly he seemed obsessed with going in the oven. Seven or eight times I saw him trying to get the oven door open so he could climb inside it.

Well, the little bastard obviously wanted to be put outta his misery, and Nolan and Sheila hadn’t left me no food to speak of so I figured I’d kill two buzzards with one brick as the saying goes. I didn’t really do nothing but open the oven door for him the next time he tried to get in there and shut it behind him. Well, I did preheat it to 450 degrees, and it’s true that I had given him a bath in barbecue sauce, but that isn’t all that weird around these parts.

He had wore me out chasing him all over the house, so I got a little shut eye. I plopped down on the couch, drifted off, and quite frankly forgot all about him until I woke up a few hours later. The whole house smelled of the most succulent aroma. When I opened the oven door to check on him, he was pretty well done. He had turned a nice golden brown and looked a lot better than he had when he was still alive.

So, what I done next was I ate him. I mean, first I cut off the head because it was freaking me out having him stare at me with them empty eye sockets, but after that I just carved him up like I would any old yardbird. Oh, he was delicious. He tasted just like chicken. Had the giblets already inside there and everything.

Sheila and Nolan came home just about the time I was finishing him up. Sheila started screaming bloody murder, but I swear to God I heard Nolan chuckle, though he denies it. They took me to jail and kept telling me that what was ironic was that they were going to fry me. In the electric chair that it is. But once they done a DNA test they couldn’t conclude that the boy was actually human. He wasn’t no bird neither. They sent the remains, what was left of them, all the way to Louisville and still couldn’t come up with no answers one way or another. In the end all I got was a fine for destruction of other people’s property because they didn’t know what the hell he was.

Sheila, she hates me. She broke up with Nolan and won’t have nothing to do with my whole family. Nolan don’t talk to me much anymore, but he’ll come around eventually. When he finally realizes I did him a god damn favor.

The thing is, I don’t feel any more bad about it than I would for eating any old piece of fried chicken. Sheila weren’t never gonna do no good for that little bastard no how. If you ask me, he didn’t have a chance in hell, and he knew it, and that’s why he kept trying to get himself killed. After I let him in the oven, I even left the door open so he could come back out if it got too hot for him, but he just sat down. Just sat there on the wrack in 450 degree heat like he was just waiting for me to close the door and let him cook. Like he knew it was the natural way of things.