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Working at Armour's

By Carrie E. Joslin

(Originally published in Hobbies, Etc.
parent publication of Pencil Stubs Online.)

I am working at Armourís creameries
†††††† But not a drop of cream do I see;
If old ďBossieĒ is on the premises
†††††† She certainly is hidden from me.
But, chickens at Armourís creameries
†††††† Are slaughtered by the score;
And when the last, lone chick has been killed
†††††† Remember, Armourís trucks are bringing more.
For chickens are carried to Armourís by trucks--
†††††† Three dozen, I think, to the crate.
They are inspected, examined and graded
†††††† While an expert counts their weight.
There are chickens, red and yellow
†††††† Brown, speckled, barred and white;
There are chickens gray, blue and silver,
†††††† And chickens as black as night.
There are chickens old and young
†††††† There are chickens large and small;
But regardless of size or color
†††††† Armourís slaughters them all.
After the chickens are inspected and graded
†††††† And placed in Armourís crates;
They are carefully carried down the line
†††††† Where the hanger and killer waits.
These crates are carried by busy men
†††††† Up close to the death machine;
The chickens inspect it with interest
†††††† Itís the first one they ever have seen.
Next, the chickens are caught and shackled
†††††† And hung on a moving chain;
Which travels through a mammoth building
†††††† With the speed of a passenger train.
As each chicken comes to the death machine
†††††† A red cap is placed on its head;
Instantly it is electrocuted--
†††††† Next, it is stuck and bled.
Oh, Armourís are so tender hearted
†††††† It is more humane, they say;
To electrocute a chicken
†††††† Than to kill it in the old fashioned way.
The dead chicks are carried into the scalding vat
†††††† Then on through the cleansing steam;
Again each chicken is inspected
†††††† To see if the feathers are clean.
Next, they pass throí the electric pickers
†††††† Then on through the picking crew,
Of a score of women, all dressed in white,
†††††† And ready their work to do.
As the chickens move on down the line--
†††††† Suspended from the moving chain;
They are scraped, singed, drawn and washed
†††††† And inspected, again and again.
They are washed both inside and out
†††††† They are as hollow as hollow can be;
When all of the workers have handled the chick,
†††††† Only the carcass you see.

© Carrie E. Joslin

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