Thursday, June 1, 2023

Working at Armour's


By Carrie E. Joslin

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

I am working at Armour’s creameries
       But not a drop of cream do I see;
If old “Bossie” is on the premises
       She certainly is hidden from me.
But, chickens at Armour’s creameries
       Are slaughtered by the score;
And when the last, lone chick has been killed
       Remember, Armour’s trucks are bringing more.
For chickens are carried to Armour’s 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
       Armour’s slaughters them all.
After the chickens are inspected and graded
       And placed in Armour’s 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
       It’s 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, Armour’s 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 thro’ 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

Click on author's byline for bio.

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