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History: Haughton’s cunning chicken thief

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The February 13, 1931 issue of The Bossier Banner carried the following story about how a Haughton man tried to protects his chickens from a cunning thief.

The editor’s note provided the setting for the story: “The following story, concerning the activities of chicken thieves in the Haughton community, was sent to the Banner by the paper’s very good friend, Mr. E. E. Walker.  The Banner is always glad to receive such interesting contributions from its readers and friends:”

“The fact that chicken thieves are active of late in the Haughton community can be seen in the particular incident related below.  There is a certain man in this community who has been bothered by these marauders for some three or four years.  The final act in this prolonged drama was enacted only a few days ago.”

“The certain man we speak of lost almost all of his chickens, all except a few hens and a rooster, about four years ago.  He was, at that time, keeping his fowls in an ordinary chicken house.  After the first offense committed by the robbers, he built a sturdy wire fence around the house and wired the chicken house as well.”

“The thieves, however, proved as enterprising as he.  They, or he, if it happened to be a lone thief, cut a pathway through the wire fence from the rear of the house, and cut the wire from the house as well, taking the fowls off for the second year.”

“The next year our enterprising citizen and chicken raiser hit upon another plan.  He crossed his

lumber and used big nails, figuring that by cleating up the house he would prevent the theft of his fowls.  He purchased a good lock and locked the house.  But lo, the thief was equal to the occasion.  He worked the lock and escaped with the chickens for the third year.”

“Again the owner of the ill-fated chicken house hit upon a scheme.  This time he crossed the timbers all over the house, even closing up the door.  He left only a very small place for the chickens to gain entrance into the house, since he had removed the nests to another location.  The robber rose to the heights of his professional cunning this time, though, and for the fourth time carried off the chickens.  He simply jacked up the hen house and thereby gained his unlawful entrance.  To add insult to injury, he left behind some old and decrepit roosters, six or seven of them, presumably some he had collected here, there and yon in his night raids on chicken houses of well-meaning citizens.”

“This surely goes to show that the thieves are not only active in this section, but enterprising, as well.  It certainly indicates that people will have to exercise due diligence in keeping the raiders from taking away their property, if they are to retain that which is theirs.”

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center can help you locate many interesting stories related to Bossier Parish, so pay us a visit.

 

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us