|REVIEW STORE: Did you enjoy David's short story? Please tell him so. We know he will appreciate your
feedback. CLICK HERE to write a review of "My Great Uncle Jack and the Pullet Surprise."
NEW REVIEWS: This is another great short story written about a great American. I loved every moment
in the barnyard, courtyard, front yard, every scene, every tricky line including the refreshing ending. I would
welcome more of the same from Mr. Carpenter. I think we are just beginning to know his Great Uncle Jack,
and I can't wait for more. *****__Alan V. Galloway.
What a pleasant and surprisingly truthful way to make a hot point. I enjoyed this story because it made me
forget about being so politically correct all the time. Great twist at the end. Send us some more, Mr Carpenter,
your stories are always interesting and thought provoking. *****__Su Chang-Wu.
Now this is a worthy read. I like someone who writes with a little Chutzpah. Had a nice, tension releasing laugh
at the end. Well done, David Warner Carpenter. Do it again. We need more courage at this site.*****__Antony
Great story! Reminds me of a joke I used to tell some of my stewardesses during my flights across country. I
have never seen it presented quite so well as here, though. Good job, Mr. Carpenter. And I agree; your uncle
is a great American. *****__Captain Apple Jack.
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|“My Great Uncle Jack and the
By David W. Carpenter
Sunday, November 26, 2016
Rated "PG" by the author
“There’s a sucker born every day.”
My sister Audrey called today. To let me know that she had completed another limb on the “Carpenter
Family Tree.” Over twenty-five limbs now. Some that extend all the way back to the eighteenth century.
From Ossining, New York, to Sparta, North Carolina, to Frankfort, Germany. Weaving their way generation-
to-generation through great men and women who fought and served in two world wars, built homes along
asphalt-paved streets in bedroom communities outside great cities and log cabins in the sides of great
mountains, drank fine blends from Paris wineries and silky mixtures from North Carolina stills, married for
money and for love, and even crossed the color line more than once genetically.
I don’t know where Audrey finds the time to do all that research. I’m retired, work three days a week, and
barely have time for a golf game when good friends from Raleigh come for a visit. When I’m not working at
Agra, I’m working the thirty-acre spread that my wife Jan and I call home. Jan told me to scale it back a little
when we moved here. "Don’t buy so much land, Dave."But I paid her no mind. So now I scrounge around
from minute to minute trying to save some of those minutes that I am scrounging around to help Audrey.
Then some mornings, a cool breeze blows easily across our land and I am glad I own it all. All thirty acres. I sit
alone on the back porch and watch the sun break the horizon as the heavy morning dew rises in a frail mist to
meet it. And the breeze calls to me to be up and about doing what I really want to do today, which is to help
Audrey fill in another branch on our family tree. Actually, I’m pretty good at it. Like when I dug up my Great
Uncle Jack, and all the wonderful memories (tapes, et al) he paid in exchange for ID’ing him.
GREAT UNCLE JACK
My Great Uncle Jack is not a great uncle in the sense of greatness that some may say comes as the result of
an exclusive, well-planned, highly elite linage that he and my Great Aunt Mary have preserved across two
centuries. Something carefully studied and weighed financially, socially, educationally, geographically, or even
religiously by two powerful families wishing to perpetuate a king’s linage through a royal marriage of equals
only. No, not that at all. Things just didn’t go that way on his side of the family. Quite the contrary. My Great
Uncle Jack deserves the prefix “great” because . . . well, he was just a great uncle.
As exhibited by his many fables, legends, myths and other assorted tall tales and foibles, all of which I have
now safely deposited in an anthology of Great Uncle Jack Stories. Which I do not give up easily. The one
exception being that Cash has asked. So, here’s another love song for you:
. . . "For a while, around April 1 1946 to December 12, 1949, my Great Uncle Jack was in the fertilized egg
business. He had several hundred young layers, hens he called them, that are actually classified as pullets in
the chicken phylum and ten roosters, whose job it was to fertilize the hens.
A trained and decorated member of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, and a dedicated and
successful farmer, great uncle Jack kept impeccable records (as he had been trained to do in the Air Force)
and any rooster that didn't perform went into the Great Uncle Jack Soup Pot and was quickly replaced.
Although well trained at precise record keeping, this took an awful lot of his time, so one day when in
town at the local hardware store, he bought a set of tiny bells. When asked just what he needed the bells for,
great uncle Jack replied, “So I can listen to the music of the cocks.”
When he returned to Carpenter’s Chicken Ranch,great uncle Jack attached a tiny bell to each of his ten
roosters. Each bell had a different tone so great uncle Jack soon had memorized the sound of music from
each bell and could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing and whether or not he had any
laggards. Soon he was able to sit in his favorite rocker on the big wraparound porch of his ranch house and
fill-out an efficiency report simply by listening to the music of the Zen Bells. His roosters happy at play
while hard at work.
My Great Uncle Jack always sported a crew cut, the only haircut available in the 101st Airborne, so it was
only natural that his favorite rooster was named old Butch. And a very fine specimen old Butch was, too.
After great uncle Jack had fastened the bells, all was well for a great many days and weeks. Even months.
Then, on one particular morning, great uncle Jack noticed that old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! So he went
All the other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, were
seen to be running for cover, which was quite frustrating for some of Jack’s stronger cocks, old Butch being
number one among the most frustrated, until this particular morning when old Butch got some game and a
few new unsuspecting pullets as well.
To great uncle Jack’s amazement, old Butch had taken his bell in his beak, holding it there so it couldn't ring.
Then it was easy enough to sneak up on a pullet, do his best job and then just walk on to the next unpleasantly
Well, as you might guess, great uncle Jack was so proud of old Butch that he entered him in the County Fair
where old Butch became an overnight sensation among the fair pullets and the judges. The result . . .The
judges not only awarded old Butch the No-Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pullet surprise as
After that, my Great Uncle Jack’s favorite story was that clearly old Butch had been a politician in the making,
right from the beginning. As great uncle Jack would often put it, "Who else but a serious 'Democrat-to-be'
could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking
up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention?"
So there you have it. Just one the many Great Uncle Jack stories that I and Audrey can now narrate. Some
members of our tree say Great Uncle Jack was eccentric and a teller of tall tales, but I prefer to remember
him as just a frequent victim of poor timing. Like the time he was airlifted behind enemy lines on June 6, 1944,
as part of operation Neptune, to help remove the German pillboxes and secondary fortifications focused upon
the special military personnel whose mission it was to scale the cliffs at Normandy. Only to be dropped onto a
chimney in France where it took him six weeks to rejoin his 101st Airborne Division. When he did go on to
become a decorated member of The Greatest Generation that helped to rescue Europe from the grip of Hitler.
But that’s another story. I hope you enjoyed “The Pullet Surprise.” Contact Cash if you would like another.
©2016 David Warner Carpenter [All Rights Reserved]