Yadama - by Dawn DeBraal (Flash Fiction 2021)

Dawn DeBraal

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two little rescue dogs, and a stray cat. Dawn has published over 300 stories in many online magazines and anthologies, including Palm-sized press, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, Potato Soup Journal, Edify Fiction, Zimbell House Publishing, Black Hare Press, Clarendon House, Blood Song Books, Fantasia Divinity, Cafelit, Reanimated Writers, The World of Myth, Dastaan World, Vamp Cat, Runcible Spoon, Siren’s Call, Setu, Kandisha Press, Terror House Magazine, D & T Publishing, Sammie Sands, Iron Horse Publishing, Impspired Magazine, Black Ink Fiction  and was the Falling Star Magazine’s 2019 Pushcart nominee.




As young girls, my cousin and I used to visit a farm down the road a bit. A German woman and her husband had cows and chickens in the middle of a small unincorporated town.

When we got to Becker's farm, we would hunt for the four-legged chicken, a freak of nature. The chicken, otherwise healthy but had two extra legs that dragged on the ground upside down. It was fascinating.

We were always hungry, she fed us and never minded when we said words like Hell. Dee and I weren't allowed to say things like that at home.

  "That chicken looks like hell," we chuckled at our naughtiness. It was always an adventure visiting Mrs. Becker. One time she took us to the old hotel across the street where we discovered an American flag with 48 stars standing in the corner by the front door. She just broke into private property with an old skeleton key!

  She and her husband Bill took us to prayer revivals. She never let me sit by the open window in the back seat of the car because I was so small, she knew I'd get sucked out. My cousin was seven weeks older than me, but she was also a foot taller. She was fed better, I think.

Mrs. Becker asked me one time if my father beat me. He was a big burly police officer for the county. I thought she meant did my father spank me, and I told her yes, he did. Oh, she was so upset. That got around the small town. My father asked me why I would say such a thing. I asked him if he was going to beat me? He rolled his eyes and walked away.

One time Mrs. Becker asked a neighbor to cut down some overhanging tree branches. They were blocking her view of the bar, and she could not see the patrons' comings and goings.

She went to church every Sunday but held gossip near and dear to her heart. She always said something that sounded like "Yadama." I don't know what that means, and I don't know to this day.

I hold fond memories of my times on the farm. How the Becker’s put up with two young girls bothering them every week. When I go past the cemetery, I see their large stone, a backdrop against the highway, and remember them fondly.

I married, ending up twenty miles from where I grew up. My present neighbor who was also a police officer saved Mrs. Becker’s son's life with an AED that the police department had installed in the squad car that very day. She was my neighbor growing up, and my new neighbor saved her son’s life forty years later.

It's funny how life moves in circles like gears in a machine working together quietly. Cogs and wheels, circles and timing. Life is full of adventures and miracles like the four-legged chicken.


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