Previous | Orphan Survival Stories Index | Next
I do not recall how old I was when I sat down to watch television that Sunday evening. I do remember that Dan Rather was a young reporter on the 60 Minutes team at the time, so I guess that would make it a long time ago.
I did not realized at that time that having been raised in an orphanage had taken such a toll on me mentally, until I got up from my chair and walked to the bathroom. When I returned to watch the show, I saw hundreds of baby chicks being herded through this large metal machine. There was this gigantic steel hammer that was slamming down upon them every three or four seconds squashing them to death.
I backed against the wall and I stood there in total horror. There was one black baby chick running around among the hundreds of tiny yellow chicks. The belt on the machine carried it forward toward the slamming steel crusher. Over and over, it came down smashing the little chicks to death as though their lives were nothing at all.
The little black chick was carried beneath the giant steel ball by the escalating belt and as the crusher slammed down on the other little chicks, he just walked out from under the steel bar, being missed by only half an inch or so. Over and over, it carried the little chick beneath the deadly machine. I could not move at all, as I was petrified. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest that it starting hurting me. I grabbed my chest, slid down the wall to the floor, turned my head away from the television and covered my ears with my hands to stop the sound.
I cried for more than an hour before I could get up off the floor. All I could see inside my head was all we little orphans all in a line marching to eat breakfast at the Children's Home Society in Jacksonville, Florida. That crusher trying to smash us to death a few at a time as though our lives were nothing at all, just like those baby chicks.
We orphans had always been told that we were worthless kids and that no body wanted us. I knew inside my head that this was probably true. But I just chose not to think about it any more once I grew up. But I had never seen what ‘being worthless’ really looked like with my own eyes, until that evening - until the very instant I saw those innocent baby chicks being smashed to death for no reason at all - just because nobody really cared about them either.