These are three true stories from my family, I tell you them now as they were told to me by my mother.
It was Thanksgiving and my sixty five year old mother did as she did every year after saying that she wouldn't, she made a huge and delicious banquet the crowning element was of course the turkey which she not only out did but really over did her self with.
After spending all day in the heat of the kitchen she had just one more task left which was to remove the enormous over stuffed bird from the oven, but to do so she had to call on my brother Chuck for aid.
As she opened the oven she saw the crispy golden brown fruit of her labor, and decided that this year she would reward her self with the best part of the bird, the prized Popes' Nose.
Sinking the fork into it, she cut it free with the expertise, of a surgeon and lay it on the table to cool.
Then she and Chuck lifted the turkey from the oven and sat it atop the stove.
She asked Chuck to hand her down the turkey tray from the top of the shelf so that she could place the bird on it and add the final touches and garnishes.
He did as she asked and stood beside her to help her move it to the table once she finished.
That done together they lifted the tray and carried it to the table and sat it down.
Mother smiled pleased with her work and reached for her reward and found it an the fork gone.
Both she and Chuck searched the floor, the kitchen and the stove to no avail.
Chuck looked to her and said,
"Please what ever you do don't tell Butch (me) I said this but, I think one of his little men got it."
The fork nor the Popes' Nose were ever seen again.
It was some time later that my Aunt Ree came to visit my mother and as they did when one of her sisters came all of my mothers sisters got together and started talking and as the conversations normally do when my Aunt Ree is there it turned to the strange things that had been happening in her life.
Aunt Ree told them about how her daughter Anita had made this wonderful dinner for her with rice pilav and how she had never tasted anything so good.
She carried her plate and drink into the living room and sat down to watch Tv as she ate.
She reached down to pick up her can of soda and when she looked back the plate was gone.
My mother laughed and told her the story of the Popes' Nose, and my Aunt Dutes the collage grad and Head nurse scoffed as she often did at such tales and said,
"I don't believe it you misplaced it or one of the kids took it and ate it!"
Knowing it was a lost cause to argue with my Aunt Dutes the conversation moved on.
It was to be later that year when Aunt Dutes was on a return trip from New York that she stopped by my mothers house for dinner before returning to her home.
She was famished and my mother asked her if she had eaten on the way down at all she said she had but had the strangest look on her face, and my mother asked what was wrong and she said that to make time she had stopped off at Kentucky Fried Chicken and bought a small bucket to eat as she drove.
She spoke about how the fragrance of the chicken filled the car as she got in and so she took a leg and savored it before she started to drive again, but as she was driving the scent of the chicken was so over powering and that last piece had been so good that she decided another little piece wouldn't hurt, and she would save the rest of it till lunch but when she reached for the box it was gone.
There too the box nor its contents like the rice pilav, and the Popes' Nose, were ever seen again.
Within The Cracks