You remember the chicken crossing the road jokes, right? Well, this isn’t a joke and the chicken didn’t cross but I think you might find this story gets you laughing just the same. Bear with me, this is a long one.
Those of you who know me know that I’m more of a city girl than a country girl. I mean, I love country music and walking around barefoot but living out in the boonies is not something this Georgia city girl ever dreamt about. I’m growing, though. Living in a town with a population barely over 2000 will do that to you I guess. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for suffering animals. That’s my weakness. With that said, we’ll continue with the story…
The Saturday before Christmas I decide to drive out to look at a set of bunkbeds listed for sale. All three of the kids are in the backseat. On the way there, I see this white chicken laying in the middle of the road and I think to myself, “Aww, the poor chicken’s been killed!” Then as I drive past it I could have sworn I saw it’s head cock. Wha??? I kept driving and decided I’d take a second look on the way back.
As I’m heading home, I’d totally forgotten about the chicken until I saw it in the road again. This time I drove up slowly, opened my car door to get a better look at it and sure enough the chicken was alive and staring right at me! “Now what?” I thought. “This bleeding chicken is suffering in the road.” As it would happen, a couple from church lived at the very next drive on this street so I stopped at their house thinking maybe Glen would know what to do. (Now I really look like a city girl…”Umm…you’re gonna laugh at me but there’s this chicken in the road and I can’t just leave it there. What should I do? It’s suffering.”) To which the obvious reply was, “Well, do you want a plastic bag?”
Now, for the record, I did not expect that this chicken was going to live. I just didn’t want to see it suffering. I thought I’d drive Glen down there with the plastic bag, he’d get out and put the chicken in the bag and then kill it somehow putting it out of it’s misery. So you ask, why didn’t I just run over it? That would be too simple and too messy, not to mention that I just don’t have the stomach for it. Also, I seem to recall my loving husband mentioning to me not so long ago that he thought it’d be a great life’s lesson for me to learn how to wring a chicken’s neck and slaughter it…you know, cooking from scratch. Can you picture ME doing THAT?! Naturally, I didn’t want to do the dirty work but I thought, if Glen kills this chicken and it’s still decent enough for consumption, I’ll take it home to Justin and he’ll be proud of me for being so frugal and conservative. Bonus points! That’s not exactly what happened, though…
After Glen got out of the car, another car passed to ask if we were ok. Imagine my embarrassment when I told them, “Oh, we’re fine. Just picking this chicken up off the road.” In the meantime, Glen’s already got the chicken in the bag and headed back to the car. At that point I thought the chicken was already dead but NOHOHO! Do you know what this sweet, kind man says to me when he gets back into my vehicle with a twitching Walmart sack? “You know, he’s pretty strong. I’ll think he’ll live.” Whaaa???? My initial reaction (mostly internal dialogue, mind you) went something like this…
There is a LIVE chicken in a plastic bag sitting on the FLOORboard in the front seat of MY CAR!!!!…and my CHILDREN are in the backseat!!! What am I gonna do with a chicken?!
Glen said to take it home and keep it as a pet. Where? What do I feed it? I don’t know anything about chicken raising! Besides all that, we were leaving in less than 48 hours and would be gone for almost two full weeks. He said to hire a chicken sitter. You know, I wasn’t even aware that was an option. He also kept telling me how proud Justin was going to be when I brought home this chicken. I’m not sure “proud” was the best descriptive for his reaction either. Did I mention that Justin had spent all day at the church building getting ready for the youth Christmas party that evening?
After dropping Glen off at his house, I drove to the church and called Justin from the parking lot to please meet me at the car. After all, I wasn’t about to leave my children unattended with a live chicken in the front seat. As soon as I saw him, our conversation went something like this… I said, “You are going to be so proud of me!” (Yeah, right. I didn’t really believe that.) “I got a chicken.” “You what? Why?” (He’s thinking I bought a chicken for the party and why would I do that when I knew he was making a ham.) “No, no, no. It’s still alive.” “It’s what?” That’s about the time he noticed the twitching bag in the front seat. “You bought a live chicken?” “No. I found it in the road.” “You WHAT?” “Well, what was I supposed to do?” “Leave it in the road!” “It was sufferin’. I couldn’t just leave it there.” “It’s injured?!” “Yeah, it’s bleeding from it’s rear.” “It’s where?!” “So, what are we gonna do?” “What? WE?”
You get the jist. Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that we found a friend whose father has a chicken coop and he took it in. Last we heard the chicken was still alive and doing well. I tried to think of some deep theological story from all of this. I’m sure there are plenty but I’m still trying to get over the shock of having a chicken in my car so I’ll leave the life application to you. Time to find some air freshener.