Chicken Mite, Cows Don’t

In 1938 (or thereabouts) my uncles, Vern and Sam (Kansas farm boys) were in the middle of a lice outbreak in their small town school.  Anyone who has handled chickens knows they’re covered in mites which are perfectly harmless.

So, what happens when a vivid imagination kicks in?  You have a story!

Thanks, Doug M. for this very nice photo.

Land owner: Rochelle Wisoff- Old Cotton Fields Back Home

Corn:  me


Vernon and Samuel, covered with chicken mites, loaded the last of the chickens into the coop.

Vernon laughed.  “You got mites.  Better than that lice at school.”

Sam looked at his overalls.  “Yeah, these you just brush off.”

“Say, Sam, what if these really ARE lice, not mites?”

 “I don’t know.”  Sam began to scratch himself.

Vern scratched, too.  “These mites are making me itch!  Sure they ain’t lice?”

“Sure, they ain’t lice.”

Vern panicked.  “These ain’t mites!  AAUGHHH!!!”

Running to the horse trough, scratching violently, he dunked his head under the water, then came up.  “There!  DROWNED the sonofabitches!”

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23 Responses to Chicken Mite, Cows Don’t

  1. Sandra says:

    Perfect breakfast fodder! Thank you Kent.

  2. Dear Kent,

    Bugs is bugs. So he drowned the mites on his head…what about the ones making trails up his butt? Just asking.



  3. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Kent,

    Why why is no one telling you that it’s not overhauls, but overalls?

    Do they think you’ll send them a chicken?

    What a lousy story:)



  4. vbholmes says:

    I agree with Doug about the “lousey” story–nothing like life on the farm for teaching you how to deal with bugs. Fun story.

  5. wmqcolby says:

    Barrump-BUMP! ppssshhh!

    As for the “overalls” you’re the only one to mention that to me AT ALL. Thanks. Needless to say it’s probably because I don’t use the word much nor wear them at all. Now you know why KANSAS stands for, “Kan’t Always Never Speak And Spell.”

  6. kz says:

    ok, this made my scalp itch and made me scratch violently… somehow reminded me of grade-school when girls in school would do lots of gross stuff like borrow each others’ hairbrushes and get lice. the comment thread’s just as entertaining as the story. 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! That was the way my uncle told the story. It was very funny. At work, we ran a story that the lice are now immune to the shampoo, so it’s better to simply comb them out. They die on their own after twelve hours. And, yes, we DO have the MOST entertaining comments here. Thanks for your feedback, KZ.

  7. Dee says:

    Great story – mad me itch like mad, thanks Kent.
    I’m with kz, very entertaining comments, still chuckling …

  8. What a fun (and disgusting) story. Ha ha. I’m feeling kind of itchy for some reason. Well done, Kent!

  9. Carmen says:

    after reading your story and all the comments I sit here, 1000s of miles away in Germany, scratching….hope your lice have no visa for Europe 🙂
    Liebe Grüße

  10. rgayer55 says:

    Ah, the life of Itchy & Scratchy down on the farm. I wonder if you could train them lice and make a circus like they do with fleas?

  11. CherryPickens says:

    Bugs is bugs is bugs. I’ll take the fish, thank you very much. Lovely story, though really, you’ll have to excuse me while I go bathe.

  12. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: Getting The Drop | A Mixed Bag

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