“Mom! Mom! We found a lost chicken, we have to save it!” My 12-year-old and her best friend came bursting through our side door.
“What do you mean you found a lost CHICKEN?”
“We were on a bike ride and we saw a random chicken just sitting on the side of the road all alone. C’mon, we have to save it.”
Folks, I grew up near New York City. The only thing I know about chickens is how to bake them at 350 degrees. Though I’ve adjusted fairly well to our newish life here in the Pacific Northwest, I often find myself in strange “you don’t see this in the suburbs” predicaments.
“Mom! C’mon, we have to get back there!”
My animal loving daughter was clearly on a mission, and I knew better than to argue. I grabbed my jacket and hiked 1/2 mile through the woods to find exactly what she said…a random chicken just sitting on the side of the road.
Friends, I know what to do when you find a DOG on the side of the road. You check its collar and call the owner. Easy peasy. But a collarless chicken? NOT so easy peasy. I decided to head off in the direction of the nearest homes. I spent the next hour or so knocking on doors asking if anyone had lost a chicken. Met some nice people, but unfortunately, none of them were nice chicken owners.
I headed back to the girls, who were still guarding the chicken. It was getting dark quickly. “We can’t leave her here”, my daughter pleaded. “A coyote will eat her.” This was very true.
And then I remembered something that has been proven to me time and time again since we moved here. When you live in a small town and you need help, people show up. I called a friend, who called another friend, who called another friend. We finally reached the owner of a nearby stable, who said she would take in the chicken. BOOM…small town charm in action.
However, now we had to actually MOVE this chicken a mile down the road to the stables. My friend was on her way with a giant empty trash bin. I texted another friend, who I knew had experience with chickens. “Any advice on how to pick up a chicken?” She laughed and said, “I’ll be right there.”
I waited on the side of the road with the girls and this chicken, who was napping in the bushes. It was now pitch dark. And cold. We had been out there for over two and a half hours. “I’m freezing and hungry”, I muttered.
“Well…there’s only ONE thing to eat around here,” my daughter quipped, looking ominously at the chicken. I cracked up. This kid Might Be Funny too.
My friends arrived, the chicken was gently put into the bin, driven to the stables, and placed in a safe, lovely coop. All’s well that ends well.
The next morning when I woke up, my daughter was hurriedly getting dressed. “What are you in such a rush about?” I asked her.
“I’m going to visit Greta.”
“Greta Cluckingon. You know, our chicken!”
And off she went.
And each day since then, I’ve watched her and her BFF ride off down the road, hair flying in the wind, to visit the little chicken they rescued.
Life in 2020 has been hard for these kids. Really, really, hard. And so I savor these moments of joy in the chaos, these moments when she is still just a kid going for a bike ride, off in search of a new adventure with her very best friend.
By Janene Dutt @ I Might Be Funny
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