Debora Weston reads from Betty MacDonald's bitingly funny memoir of early married life on a chicken ranch during the 1920s, in the wildest part of the North Western United States.
Abridged by Jennifer Howarth."
Betty learns that a lady never scratches or spits and has a duty to ensure her husband is happy in his work.".
Bob and Betty take a trip to see the farm.
Betty wishes she had studied mule-skinning or carpentry instead of ballet.
It would have been more useful on the farm.
Betty takes advice from Mrs Kettle about her disastrous breadmaking and struggles to get through all her chores.
Betty despairs of the bats, the outdoor privy, the chicken lice and the lack of a radio or telephone.
On the other hand, she has plenty of eggs.
Betty gets to know Paw and Maw Kettle and their 15 children.
Life in the wilderness depends on door-to-door salesmen, who ask the most embarassing questions.
Betty and Bob receive visits from not altogether friendly wildlife.
Mrs Kettle dismisses Betty's childcare pamphlets as a sinister government conspiracy.
Paw Kettle fills the hay mow with wet hay, causing what he believes to be spontaneous combustion.