The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Waiting For The Mail

By Doris Wood © 1992

Issue: May, 1992

Before telephone and transportation made communication easier, the mail was looked forward to daily with a great deal of anticipation. My memory takes me back to a special afternoon when a friend and I that lived near Maple Swamp Creek [near Meadows of Dan, Virginia] decided we would walk over to what was called, "The Cold Spring Road" to meet the rural carrier that was taking the mail to the Mayberry sub office.

When we approached the mail box we heard some loud pecking, so curiosity got the best of me. I cracked the mail box lid just enough to see a large speckled chicken sitting inside pecking a tune on the mail box. The owner of the box usually wore a feather in his hat so I just assumed he had ordered feathers and they had sent him chicken and all.

I later learned that these two boys from another neighborhood had started to Mayberry store with chickens to trade for groceries. This one chicken got sick so they put it in the mail box until they returned. I've heard since that "Akers," the rural carrier has passed away. I don't suppose he ever learned how the chicken got in the mail box. Probably thought it came U.P.S.

Editor's Note: This story was sent to us by way of Miss Addie Wood of Mayberry Trading Post who adds:

This story happened about 45 or 50 years ago. Doris Wood lived in Mayberry at that time. Mr. Akers came over from Indian Valley so I'm guessing he did not carry the mail very long. If you carry a chicken with its head hanging down, it will get sick and you think they are dead.