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Verona might be the birthplace of the most famous love story in literature, but the small village of Newbury, in the state of New Hampshire, the United States, is home to the most enduring one of recent times. Although very few have heard of the story of the chicken farmer, it is New Hampshire’s favorite legend.

The story begins about thirty years ago. At that time, there was a small white house by the side of Route 103, that passes through Newbury, with a chicken farm in the backyard. And on this farm lived a pretty girl of sixteen, named Gretchen Rule, who helped her family raise chickens. Gretchen had a secret lover, or perhaps two, but this story involves this particular boy who was too shy to come forward. So on one moonlit night, the boy took a paint brush and wrote, in eight-inch high letters, the message —"CHICKEN FARMER, I LOVE YOU", on a large piece of rock conveniently located near her house, just across the road.

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Photo credit: jacmanch/Flickr

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