by Forest Harvey
In the spring of 1943 I lived in Kehoe, Kentucky, 18 miles from Greenup, Kentucky on State Route 2.
My parents had ordered 200 Rhode Island red baby (Biddie) chicks from Sears and Roebuck. We picked them up at the post office in Kehoe, which was also Grandma Duncan’s General Store.
Very soon one of the chicks outgrew the others and dad said it was a pullet. She became my pet hen and I named her Hen-E-Pen. She would come up to me for food as well as to be rubbed on her back or craw. She also would fly up on my shoulder and knee.
A year later she started “setting” on two old white glass door knobs that had been tossed into a back nest in the hen-house. Our neighbor, ”Grandma” Cooper gave me 12 duck eggs and we “set” her. Eleven of the eggs hatched and were healthy ducklings.
At first this was no problem. The ducks ate the same grass, bugs and worms as chickens. But one day the difference showed.
I heard Hen-E-Pen hollowing and she was running up and down the creek that ran not far from our house, barn and chicken house. The ducks had found water and Hen-E-Pen did not think they belonged there. She clucked to them with no avail. They needed a quack, quack, not a cluck, cluck. They were having fun.
The ducks would eat so much wheat that their craw would drag on the ground. I also made pets of them. One duck went missing. Some wild animal or hawk had gotten it. But I raised ten white ducks to full grown.
What was I going to do with 10 white ducks and winter coming? As I was without shoes my brain started racing.
My parents had a shoe rationing stamp. So I decided to say goodbye to my friends and sold them at Greenup Poultry House. I bought a new pair of high top brown shoes, Peters brand. I was very proud of my new shoes but I missed my old friends.
I still had Hen-E-Pen and kept her for a number of years.
We moved her from Kehoe to Halderman and then to Albany, Kentucky where she died. She is buried close to WANY in a wooden box on land now owned by the Rock Quarry.