Dead Chickens

Excerpt from someday to be published The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA

Dead chickens and feathers and parts of dead chickens were all over the narrow paved road in front of our house on Sugar Tree Creek. Prince was having him some fun strutting through his killing field with a near death, wide eyed, horror paralyzed chicken gripped in his jaws.

Woody drove up the holler after an afternoon of drinking with a friend. He saw Prince dancing and shaking his head in the middle of the road with the chicken in his mouth. Woody didn’t hesitate a second, he swerved his truck and ran over his dog and for good measure stopped and backed over him and ran forward over the body one more time.

Prince lay dead amidst the fantastic meal he had just laid out. As he was taking the collar off Prince and loading the body in his truck, Woody apologized for his useless dog and offered to pay for the chickens.


About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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