TALES from the FRONT PORCH
Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project
GRANDPA HENDERSON and THE CHICKENS
E. Claire Henderson was a life-long resident of Tingley. He was born May 28, 1897. My great grandparents always said
that it snowed the day Claire was born. Although he was a school administrator in various communities across southern
Iowa, he always maintained a home in Tingley.
Grandpa Claire was my paternal grandfather and he was a terrible tease. One of his biggest jokes concerned his finger.
Grandpa was missing the ring finger on his left hand. When asked what happened to it, he always said that the chickens
ate it. As a child, I had terrifying images of giant, angry chickens snapping off his finger.
When I was in high school, I was finally told the truth -- the chickens ate it. When he was 17, he was roping a calf in
the barn on the family farm north of Tingley. Just as he was tying the rope to a spike in the wall, the calf bolted. His
class ring caught on the spike and amputated his finger. When his dad went to retrieve the finger so that it could be
reattached, the chickens had eaten it.
Contribution by Margaret Henderson Ebersold, July of 2009
To contribute to "Tales from the Front Porch: Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project"
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