Figure Eight: Three year old Charles “Chuck” Sanders stands alongside four year old Harland David Sanders.
By the age of four, Harland had fashioned himself an entire set of child size wooden furniture, including the chair he is sat on in Figure Eight. With their small house now over-run with miniature, yet beautifully crafted, furniture Mr and Mrs Sanders felt it was time that Harland direct his energy to another project.
As he had spent the majority of his time indoors creating what is now regarded as potentially one of the greatest collections of handcrafted furniture on the planet had it not been burned by his mother when she got fed up of dusting it in the Spring of 1898, Harland had virtually no social skills and was, quite frankly, inept when it came to talking to peers. Early attempts at introducing Harland to other children had ended badly when he had fashioned his neighbour Mark Boyne a child size coffin immediately after the visit. Instead the Sanders family deemed it better to start with an animal. After virtually no deliberation they decided on a chicken. The chicken was christened Charles Sanders. Charles was later known by his friends as Chuck.
Harland was given the task of tending to Chuck’s every need. Feeling that this was detracting from the time he could spend on carpentry he saw Chuck as the white angel of death to his beloved work. As a symbolic gesture Harland decided to exclusively wear black, and entered an indefinite period of mourning for his craft. So stressed at the situation which he now found himself in, just three weeks after taking charge of Chuck he took up smoking.
As Harland’s frustration at Chuck grew, Mr and Mrs Sander’s love for Chuck grew too. They began to prefer spending precious time and money with Chuck rather than the sullen, chain smoking child who was rapidly becoming more bother than he was worth. It was out of this general loathing of his life, his parents, Chuck and indeed all of chicken kind, that Harland decided to act
On a Saturday afternoon in the height of summer, Harland killed Chuck. His rival had gone. Extinguishing his cigarette Harland donned a white suit, with a black ribbon in memory of those lost months, and began preparing Chuck for the family dinner. Over dinner Harland informed his parents that Chuck had passed. However they were so enamoured with their meal and spent so long licking their fingers that they couldn’t find it in themselves to be angry with the transformed angel of a son that sat opposite them.
On remarking that this was the best chicken they had ever eaten, Harland revealed that whilst he intended to follow the old family recipe, he discovered he couldn’t read his mother’s hand written instructions. Instead he invented a special one of his own. One trip to the opticians later and the image that we all know and love of Colonel Sanders appeared in its earliest form.