You need to know, if you didn’t follow me on WLS, that this is a repost from there. Sue Lehman’s chicken stories and updates brought this back to mind and I’d told her I was going to repost this. So if you’ve already read this, just bear with me.
How could anyone not love a chicken. Tell me that. If they see YOU when they hatch, then you get to be the mother and they think they ARE you. It’s as simple as that. Some say chickens are not too smart, but even if that’s so, who cares? They are very loving if you just give them the chance. I know, and this is my story:
When I was growing up, the closest neighbor was a mile away and also a farm.......now it's a whole office center and HUGE. But back when the Franklins had their farm, it was wonderful. They raised chickens, pigs, and cows, and of course there was always a bull or 2 around. I remember when we were allowed to use their huge field for flying kites but always with a warning to look for the bull first. Well, one day we were so anxious to fly our kites that we really didn't look hard enough. My kite was sailing higher and higher and just as I was about to be declared the winner of the day, I heard Mr Franklin screaming, "RUN, RUN! The BULL is out!" OMG......do you remember in cartoons how someone's legs looked like wheels spinning so fast when they ran? I couldn't even see my legs they were moving so fast, and so was my heart. I made it to the barbed wire fence just in time and DOVE through it. I still have the barbed scar on my shin to show for it, but at least I still have my heart beating.
The Franklins knew how attached to animals I was and they were the first to lend a hand with any stray "critters" that followed me home, and I say that with tongue in cheek since how many animals actually follow you home without a little bit of prodding? lol.
The year came in school where there was a science project to be done by each student. One of the kids, Dudley, had decided to do the one where you have all the stages of the chicken egg in jars...yuck....but the last day, the last of the "live" eggs were to hatch. Bingo! All the eggs hatched right on time except for one. Dudley was getting ready to throw it out but I said, "Oh, no, no, I'll take it home", and so I did. On the walk home from school that day, I held that little egg in both hands to keep it warm. All of a sudden the egg started to crack open! Within just a short time I had the cutest, messiest little baby chick you ever saw. When I got home I knew I had to find a way to keep it warm, so out comes the incubator box with the light bulb. Ahhh, the little chick was happy as a clam. I rode my bike to the Franklin's farm and told them what happened. Bless their hearts, they gave me feed for new chicks and kept me in chicken feed for the next 3 years.
Now during this time, the chick became a chicken and was BIG. She didn't realize she was a chicken at all since she'd hatched in my hands and was brought up with my other dogs and cats, so some rather spectacular events occurred on a daily basis. First, she decided that it was just fine to run up the steps to the bathroom when she heard the shower turned on......and she thought it was just fine to jump into the shower with my dad. She also took a shine to my cocker spaniel and would take a daily ride on Winnie's (the cocker) back, holding her collar with her feet, and cantering up the street. Boy, I always wished I could find a miniature cowboy hat for that chicken. To top it off, when I’d come home from school, she’d get so excited that she’d run to me, jump into the air and into my arms, flip herself over and wait for her belly to be stroked. She loved that. She was one fine chicken.
Each day, that chicken would take a sunbath in the back yard. She'd flip over on her back, stretch out her neck, and flatten her legs out......looked just like a skinny, bald person lying there. There she'd doze happily for hours. For the longest time she was allowed inside, but as time went on my parents said she'd have to stay outside, so I fashioned a spot for her on the back porch. This architecture was in the form of big cardboard boxes with my sled on the top so she could use it as a perch. The chicken loved it but my parents didn't. Not only was it an eyesore, but the longer my chicken sat on my sled, the more horse flies showed up (you can’t exactly diaper a chicken). This was not a good thing and my parents finally said I'd have to find a home for my chicken. I cried and cried to no avail. I couldn't take the chicken to the Franklins because they ATE the chickens, but I knew another family, the Fleets, that had a farm and loved animals as much as I did.
The Fleets took her in but unfortunately my chicken didn't want to live in the chicken house. I know she was thinking, "What ARE these things??" Instead, she started pecking (knocking) at the Fleet's back door to go inside. The Fleets said oh noooo, no chickens in the house, so she decided to move into the dog house with the dogs. Now the dogs were fit to be tied over this because she also decided to eat THEIR food. The days passed, the chicken wouldn't budge from the dog house, the dogs are getting angry, and still the daily sunbath is taking place. One day while she was sunbathing, the dogs sneaked up on her and, well....... . The Fleets called me and gave me the terrible news and of course I was worse than devastated. Even the Fleets were crying because they'd become very attached to my chicken. I went right over to their house and we made plans for a full-fledged funeral. The next day, every kid in the neighborhood was there, and even a bunch of adult neighbors.....we all loved that chicken......and we formed a circle around the gravesite that was dug by Mr Fleet the night before. We all held hands, said a fitting prayer, and then each of us said what we'd remember about her. Don't laugh, this was a true story...........................and the dogs were NOT invited to the funeral.
XOXOXO from me to you and all chickens that can read