chicken skeleton
Chicken skeleton (

In eighth grade, Sister decided to give several guys in the class an assignment: they were to get a whole chicken (including the head and the feet), get all of the skin and muscle off of the bones, then reassemble the bones into a full skeleton. Tim was the head of the project, and Mike and two guys named Tom were his project team. This meant Tim did 90% of the work, and the other three provided comic relief.

They got off to a good start, getting the whole chicken from a local Kosher meat market, getting all the skin off of it, and letting the bones dry thoroughly. They also did a good job getting the legs and pelvis assembled. At that point, the project bogged down, because now they had the spine and ribcage to rebuild, and then they had to put the whole thing together correctly so it actually looked like the skeleton of a chicken instead of like some mutant species from an alien planet.

There were, naturally, plenty of hijinks and hilarity. At the point where they had the ribcage assembled and had to piece the whole thing together, Mike took the skull and set it on the pelvis. “There! Instant chicken!”

Tim held up the ribcage. “What do we do with this?”

Mike took the ribcage and jammed it between the legs. “Instant chicken with portable toilet!”

Of course, they were doing all of this during a supposed “quiet study” period, so of course we all found this highly amusing. Sister was less than entertained, and as the project had already taken twice as much time as she thought it should have, she started pestering the guys to find out when they would be finished.

It took them another two weeks to complete the skeleton, with Sister nagging them along the whole time, but they really did an impressive job. Not only were all the pieces in the right place, they had managed to get everything put together so that it looked like a chicken, with the spine crooked in all the right places and everything.

Not 24 hours later, Sister decided that it was impressive enough that she wanted to show the seventh grade. This meant carrying the thing upstairs from the second floor to the third. On the landing between the second and third floor, the skeleton slid off the cardboard to which it was (not very well) attached, fell onto the concrete floor, and shattered into a thousand pieces.

Tim and the rest of the team that had put the thing together were furious, as you can imagine, but they were unwilling to vent their spleens at Sister or the principal. I don’t think any of the parents did, either. They should have.


Another Stream of Consciousness entry in Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. She has all the rules here, and you can also find links to other SoCS entries in the comments.


  1. Funny and interesting. I think it was an interesting project to reassemble a skeleton of a chicken. And at least the creature was dead already. I hated the time in my physiology class when we had to kill a frog. My lab partner had to do it. I could not do it. 😦


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