Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ode To A Chicken

I have a chicken. It has outlasted every single pet we've brought into our house. My wife loves animals until she gets one, and two poops on the floor later, or after a couple of torn or scratched upholsteries, the animal becomes an ad on Craigslist. We have spent about 2 grand on dogs and, strangely enough, we have no dogs. We have cycled countless cats through our house at speeds of upwards of 40 miles per hour. We had a rabbit that ran away, mercifully. We had a rat that , well, was able to keep most of its tail intact before it escaped, thereby sparing the rest of its tail, I'm sure. Animals in the pound see us, and they actually RETREAT to the back of their cages. If we should take an animal from the pound, the others wipe their brows and say "Whew!"

We've never had any health problems with the animals, and we always have given them to a good home. One neighbor still has one of our former dogs. The dog, after a couple of years, still thinks he's just visiting next door because everytime we see him when the neighbor goes out to walk him, he strains his leash trying to get back in our house.

But, the chicken. The chicken has seen them all come and go. We actually had two chickens. Well, we had three. One died in chick-hood when my youngest was doing some chicken flight research. His findings were heart-wrenching, but ultimately important. The other chicken lived to be a chicken, but died mysteriously while we were on vacation. The neighbor who was looking after her called us on vacation, distraught, to tell us the news. I had to calm him down, tell him it's alright, all the while feeling just a little silly for trying to calm a grown man crying about a chicken. I'm supposed to do that to my 8-year old! But, I know that a pet caretaker having to deal with the death of a pet that they were supposed to keep safe is a little touchy, so I handled it with sympathy and understanding, and with one foot firmly mashing the toes of my other foot to keep myself from laughing. Yeah, I'm bad.

But, the chicken. I actually like the chicken. I like watching the chicken. I'd heard that birds were descendants of dinosaurs and when I see my chicken doing the chicken doop (that's what I call her walk, the chicken doop), she does look like a fat little dinosaur and I even chuckle to think that I may be looking at one of Mother Nature's funniest evolutionary bits: the great and feared velociraptor is now a chicken, terrorizing only bugs and being terrified of everything else.

And, we get eggs. One a day in the laying season. And, they're good eggs. They never accumulate. I eat them the same day I find them. Good eggs, man. Yolk all firm, taste all fresh and eggy. Yum city, USA. I have a friend who has chickens too, but she can't eat the eggs. She saw her hen lay an egg once and she said it grossed her out so much that she can't eat the eggs. I frowned when I heard her say that and she looked at me and said "But, they came out of her butt!" I explained to her that they don't exactly come out of her butt, and she knew that, but she insisted that the buttal proximity of the egg chute qualified it as something of a secondary butt, and chicken butt is gross. She had eaten eggs her whole life before then, but, the sight of one being made snapped her. So, when I can get over there, I eat her eggs too.

So, the chicken. Yeah. A chicken in the middle of the city. I feel like some kind of rebel farmer. I work in a big building downtown and I go home to a chicken in the backyard. And a confident chicken too, confident not only in her staying power, but also in the fact that she must know I won't ever pull her head off. Could never do that. I never thought that the pet I'd own the longest in my adult life would be a chicken. Damn. I'm so glad I survived into "adulthood", just so I can see how silly and uncanny it got.
Jeremiah, 10:40 AM

4 Back at me:

I used to have thirty chickens, and slowly, they died. They are the greatest animals ever, and I can't wait to get more.

What you do, is get a bantam rooster, one of the half sizes, and then get normal sized hens. Hilarious. He tries to be quite the bad ass, and tries to ride these hens but only falls off and gets pecked.
Blogger Cecil B., at 1:57 PM  
There was a time when we raised chickens (as a food source) and rabbits (as pets.) It was my job to feed the animals and the rabbits were MEAN suckers. The chickens, on the other hand, were quite friendly and would come running to see me.
Then came the time when we decided all should be eaten. I never felt bad eating the rabbits, but ALWAYS felt like I was eating a friend and had been damned to hell for eating the chickens.
Blogger Elle, at 4:47 AM  
My aunt had chickens on her farm, and even though chicken poop is one of the worse-smellilng animal poops (pig beats it but just barely), there was something comforting about reaching underneath their fluffy bodies and finding a warm egg there. My aunt would poke a hole in them and eat them raw, standing in the coop. I always insisted she hard-boil mine.

(Word Verification = "frroktd"!)
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 10:27 AM  
I love this blog. It inspires me-now I to want to get a chicken!
Blogger RunLuluRun, at 12:34 PM  

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