Friday, February 26, 2010

Life is short

Especially, I guess, if you're a chicken.

Oh Billina and Henry, you were entertaining while you were here. You gave us many more eggs than we could ever consume. You were especially comical when you got wet. And it was oddly endearing, the way you would run up to greet us whenever we came home from somewhere. (Actually, I don't know if chickens "run" so much as they waddle really fast.)

I will admit that the Satanic cackling you emitted every time you sat down to lay was more than a little annoying. And the way you abused our foliage was downright obscene. But I guess the thing that finally did you in was your wanderlust. You simply could not tolerate the idea that your entire existence had to be confined to our front yard, where overhanging trees protected you from hawks, and where proximity to humans protected you from the neighborhood coyote. And though we like to consider ourselves the superior species, it seemed that, in the end, even we couldn't devise (read: afford to install) a fence fancy enough to hold you.

The sad irony is that now I'll never have the chance to tell you how much I admired your constant quest for freedom (even though I suspected all along that it would lead to your demise).

For the ghoulish, here's the crime scene:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that there are two piles of feathers in that image. Which suggests, to me, that chicken A stood by, dumbfounded or unaware, while chicken B was being consumed. And then chicken A was consumed.

Anyway, RIP, ladies.

(Related: a poem I once wrote about a dead bird.)


Anonymous said...

I was thinking maybe you had chicken soup for dinner. Were the feather piles in your yard?

godoggo said...

Maybe next time you should get a cockatoo. Presumably they make eggs. Or maybe a snake?

Guess I'll go back to my real fake name. It's all the same.

mrG said...

"I admired your constant quest for freedom (even though I suspected all along that it would lead to your demise)"

I'm terribly sorry, but I cannot help but connect this in my mind with today's cautionary words of Darcy James Argue on the double edges of freedom, and those haunting words of Sun Ra telling me I don't want to be 'free' so much as I'd rather be in Ra's jail.

Back at the chicken ranch, however, you have to admit, there is a certain folk-heroism in girls going out in the jaws of a Hawk rather than their letting life slip away always wishing they had danced with that devil.

Art said...

Both a very well-written and (I admit with a touch of guilt) very funny recount of your chickens' outlook on life and the appropriate nature of their demise.

Andrew Durkin... said...

Jeff -- no chicken soup for us. We couldn't even find the carcasses. The feathers were in the neighbors' yard.

Godoggo -- Nice to have you back (though I guess you've been here all along)!

Gary -- I'm convinced that one definition of genius is the ability to find connections in apparently unlike things. The connection you make to Darcy's article is a good example.

Art -- Thanks for appreciating the humor in this -- I'm guilty of finding the situation a bit funny too (or maybe just absurd), even as I find it sad. Perhaps the inherent cruelty of nature is beyond my ken. How else can we respond?

Chimp said...

Or maybe your chickens were killed simultaneously, by a master assassin. Maybe you should call CSI.