This blog presents one of the many stories Tom Henry told me in our prison cell. The Tom Henry manuscript, which began at 1,100 pages, has now shrunk to a 300-page book, and this story was lost to the cutting, but it’s a good one. This story we also offer as a live prison recording. Enjoy!
When I was first a fugitive in Missouri, before I got married, I worked at the chicken plant. For a while I lived in a homemade camper I built in the bed of a pickup I called old Betsy. It wasn’t just cheaper, it was more convenient too. I worked all hours for the chicken plant at the time so it was handy to sleep right there in my camper.
Some chickens get loose off the loading dock when you’re hanging them. We have guys that go around catching chickens, but they usually don’t catch them all. They’d chase them all around in the woods and along the creek.
I was parked right down from the chicken plant this night, where all the trees were, on the left side of the chicken plant, sleeping. Chickens usually roosted in the trees at night. I heard this noise and I looked out my Plexiglas window. There were mercury lights there, so I could see these two coons.
Three chickens were on a limb on the right side of this tree. They were high enough where the coons couldn’t get them from the ground. So one coon went up the tree and walked out onto the branch. The other coon stayed on the ground under the branch. Now, a chicken won’t fly at night, unless they’re pushed off a branch, ‘cause they can’t see well in the dark.
The coon on the branch walked out far enough on the branch so the chickens had to go way out to the edge. The limb bent down under their weight and the coon below got the one farthest out, then the coon on the limb eased back to the tree trunk, and the two coons took off.
I was thinking they were smart to figure out a way to get that chicken, but I didn’t nearly realize how clever they really were. By easing off the branch, the one coon avoided scaring the other two off. I saw the two coons come back into view about twenty minutes later. They repeated the procedure, got one more chicken, and left. Within about an hour, they wound up getting all three.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you visit often. My upcoming book, Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, is now available on Amazon as an ebook.