THE BRIDE FROM THE VILLAGE OF DEAF-MUTE/Brigid Pasulka AMYE, HOW MANY TIMES do I have to ask you to get rid of those chickens?" Shrubek set the bags of groceries on the windowsill and stood to watch the five scrawny chickens scratching and pecking at the balcony, trying to unearth imaginary kernels from the concrete. "Throw them a handful of feed, son, will you?" Shrubek's mother was chopping cabbage, flinging it into a pot on the stove. Shrubek groaned. He reached into the shoebox on the windowsill, forced the door open, the glass rattling in the frame, and threw a careless handful onto the balcony. Rivulets of seed trickled over the side, and one of the chickens cautiously stretched its neck to feel the warm breeze from the kitchen. "Oh, no you don't." Shrubek shut the door quickly and latched it. He snatched a pinch of crimped cabbage shreds from the table and popped them into his mouth. "Mamye, I have a steady income now. I can buy you a thousand eggs a week if you need them." His mother shook her head. "You never know. What if I get rid of them and the next day you
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
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