Tastes Like Chicken

17 Nov

My neighbors have a pet rooster.  And about a dozen pet chickens.  I discovered this about a month ago, when I saw them scattered out throughout the yard—squawking and walking that peculiar walk that sends their heads lurching forward and their bodies following sluggishly behind.

I watch them with mingled sympathy and condescension.  Poor stupid creatures, I think as I watch them strut about, pecking at this and that.  Do they not know of the reason for their presence?  Are they not aware that a dreaded and horrible death lies ahead?

Unlike other pets, whose sole purpose is to receive and offer love, to provide comfort and companionship, the chickens’ existence in that yard is purely economical: We don’t want to play catch with them or rub their feathers or snuggle with them while watching TV.  We want to eat the babies for breakfast.  And munch on the parents for lunch and dinner.

Poor little creatures.  Part of me wishes I could save them.

That I could tell them to run away and never come back, like the chicken in that claymation movie.


I picture the rooster leading the cadre of flightless birds down the road.  But the triumphant image is quickly supplanted by sights of the newly-freed creatures being hunted down by the workers of the fried chicken place up the street or owner of the barbeque joint around the corner.

They don’t stand a chance.

It seems their lot in life is to give—their young are fried, scrambled and contorted into omelets.

Their bodies are grilled, fried and marinated.

But just how different is their life from ours?  We, like them, are strutting around our world vaguely aware that one day, suddenly, we’ll disappear.

That one day, some force larger than ourselves will determine our time is up.

Like them, we can either live our lives fretting about that day.  Or simply enjoy the indefinite time for which we remain.

Like them, the only thing we can determine is the quality of that life: Eat well, enjoy the company of others and hope that when that fateful day finally arrives, that we can say we lived well.

And hope a hearty  “well done” is the phrase that captures our existence when judgment commences.

As the mouthwatering scent of homemade fried chicken escaped the home, making me wish I could construct a metaphor fitting the scene.

Something to  connect it back to to some lofty point about life.

Failing miserably,  I  simply laughed and continued my journey home.

Until next time.


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