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Home / Fishing / Articles

ArticlesFeatured Columnist : Georges Corner

Chicken John
By: George Van Zant

Other Jed Welsh Stories - Tobakeyed Breath | Catalina 1910  
Legend of Jed Welsh
| Old Avalon Story 

Note: A continuing story about the life and times of Jed Welsh famous outdoorsman.

Once in the early 1900's Jeds' father took two buddies on a hunting trip 10 miles up the island from Avalon to the Isthmus. They sailed and rowed all day to the Isthmus Harbor in their CatBoat. In those days the only occupant of the Isthmus was old "Chicken John", a chicken farmer who let his chickens run wild and unmolested. He was fiercely protective of them though and always suspicious of strangers. In those days very few people visited the Isthmus and those that did were goat hunters like Jeds¹ dad and his buddies.

When they arrived they immediately looked for the notorious old "Chicken John", but he was nowhere to be found, They set up camp, made preparations for a supper of canned goods. They were expecting old Chicken at any time but he never showed up. They had intended to buy a couple of chickens for supper but since old Chicken wasn¹t around they caught two of them anyway. Jeds¹ dad was ready to pay when old Chicken appeared and when he didn¹t his scotch blood said " oh well we tried". So they plucked the chickens and put the feathers into paper bags, to hide from the wrath of "Old Chicken" just in case he appeared. For further protection they put rocks in the bags and sank them in the harbor. They left no visible signs of the feast. They thought! 

The next morning they awakened to the figure of "Old Chicken John" poised over them with a loaded, cocked, side by side, double barreled shotgun aimed right at their noses. "It looks like you boys ate about 15 birds, quite a feast and I know you¹re gonna pay for em". Jeds' dad said that they only killed two of them. "Baloney", replied old chicken, "look at the beach"! Strewn for 1/2 mile around the harbor was chicken feathers. The paper bags had collapsed in the water and the tide had spread them everywhere along the
shoreline. So Jeds¹ dad and company payed top dollar for 15 chickens and then were ushered back to their CatBoat by "Old Chicken". So back to Avalon they went and besides that they never got a shot at a goat.


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