Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Chicken After My Own Heart

On this beautiful St. Patrick's Day, the sun is shining and Spring is just around the corner, so it seems. I think about all the lovely sunny days ahead, and suddenly and without warning, I think about a chicken. That's right. Not just some random chicken, but a particular chicken with a singularly Irish personality; smart, handsome, and terribly testy.

My sister and I raised him from an orphaned egg.
The name we gave him was Chicken Little, and while he was yet very small, you couldn't have asked for a more agreeable little fellow. He was promptly baptised, showered with love, affection and attention, and treated like a member of the family. Chicken Little lived in a small cage on the living room coffee table, went with us on picnics, where he chased bugs and small snakes along the creekbank, and was just a marvelous companion. Even as an adolescent bird, he remained sweet and amenable to all playtime activities, like having doll clothes forced upon him and tiny bandanas tied around his pin-feathery head.

Chicken Little indeed! We should have named him George Meany. Upon reaching maturity, his personality took a foul turn! Man, that was one mean chicken! Of course, he had to be banned from the inside of our home, due to his lurking around corners and attacking like a chicken possessed. But putting him outside seemed to make matters worse. He hid just around the back of the house, and whenever one of us bare-legged humans ventured down the backporch steps, Chicken Little flew at us like a demon chicken, uttering the most terrifying pawks you can imagine, pecking and flogging without mercy.

Now, what would make a formerly benign chicken turn into a Jekyl & Hyde monster? Nobody knows.

So, my daddy traded him for two bunnies, a brown one and a gray one, dubbed Pierre and Twinkle Nose. They were promptly baptised, and NEVER attacked us.

I'll never forget Chicken Little. Both his personalities made lasting impressions, as did his "Top o' the mornin' to you!" greeting and his dagger-like beak.


Joanne Ramey Cage said...

Did y'all happen to have fried chicken at any time, around the time you got the two bunnies?

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

No, but somebody did. Daddy warned the guy whom he traded with that CL was a vicious bird. The fellow pooh-poohed Daddy and said he was going to make a fightin' chicken out of CL. But I hear he ate him the first time he got attacked.