“The Country Gentleman suggests a way to prevent hens from eating their eggs. It is to fill an egg with a solution of pepper, and put the egg back in the nest. A Danbury man has tried this and says it works like a charm. He put a pretty good dose of pepper in the egg, and placed it in the nest of the criminal. Pretty soon the hen came around, and took hold. It was a brindle animal, with long legs, and somewhat conceited. It dipped in its bill and inhaled the delicacy. Then it came out doors. It didn’t gallop out, we don’t mean, but it came out–came out to look at the scenery, and see if it was going to rain. Its mouth was wide open, and the feathers on the top of its head stood straight up. Then it commenced to go around the yard like a circus horse. Once in a while it would stop and push out one leg in a tone of astonishment, and then holler “Fire,” and start on again. The other hens came out to look on. Soon the hens from the neighbors came over the fence, and took up a position of observation. It was quite evident that the performance was something entirely new and unique to them. There is a good deal of human nature in hens. When they saw this hen dance around and have all the fun to itself, and heard it shout “Fire,” and couldn’t see the conflagration themselves, they filled with wrath, and of one accord sprang upon it, and before the Danbury man could interfere, the brindle hen with the long legs was among the things that were. He says the recipe is effectual.”
This is an excerpt from Life in Danbury by James M. Bailey, also know as “The Danbury News Man”. The book was published in 1873 and compiles excerpts from The Danbury News, “An Eight-page Journal devoted to Literary Miscellany, General Gossip, and containing statements almost TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE”, which was published every Wednesday. Subscription costs were $1.oo for six months and $2.00 for one year.
Life in Danbury is described on its title page as “A Brief but Comprehensive Record of the DOINGS OF A REMARKABLE PEOPLE, UNDER MORE REMARKABLE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND CHRONICLED IN A MOST REMARKABLE MANNER[…]AND CAREFULLY COMPILED WITH A PAIR OF EIGHT-DOLLAR SHEARS, BY THE COMPILER.”