Are You Here for the Chicken?

One day I was walking along a busy street in front of the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Right at the zoo’s entrance, next to a bus stop, a beautiful, rare-looking chicken was wandering around, looking lost. I pondered this predicament, and decided to go in to the zoo to get them to rescue the poor animal.

The man at the information desk told me that others had told him already, but that there wasn’t anything to be done. “It’s not our chicken.” Stunned, I muttered that something had to be done. He said I could try calling the police.

I went back outside, aghast that a zoo person could be so heartless. I called the police. I admit to feeling a bit sheepish when I reported that there was a lost chicken wandering on the sidewalk. But the reluctant policeman told me he would dispatch a squad car.

I waited and waited, with every minute feeling less certain that the police would show up–he probably just told me that to get rid of me, I thought. But at last, a police car did indeed pull up. The officer just stayed inside, though. I gestured for him to roll down the window, and then said perhaps a bit too brightly: “Are you here for the chicken?”

His eyes got as big as saucers. He looked at me disbelievingly, and was clearly doing a mental assessment. No, he finally said. He wasn’t here for the chicken, and then he drove off.

I was so disheartened. What to do? I waited for an eternity, but finally, another police car drove up. The officer got out and heard my plaintive “Are YOU here for the chicken?”

Why yes, he said. I nearly hugged him, but thought that might not improve my already thin credibility. So I asked what he would do. He said most likely it was a rooster that had been used for fighting, illegally, and that it’s pretty common for the owner just to abandon them when they are no longer useful. He would take it to an animal rescue place and it would be given to someone who would take care of it.

I thanked him, and as I walked away I glanced back one last time at the beautiful bird with magnificent arching red tail feathers.


3 thoughts on “Are You Here for the Chicken?

  1. Hi Vicki!

    Your stories are ALWAYS filled with so much interest, humor and LOVE!

    Your LOVE of animals is so “heartfelt”.

    Your like a female St Francis.

    I LOVE St. Francis, and have read many wonderful books on his life.

    His LOVE is within you!

    Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

    I WILL be. I’ve had a rough week in retail (Mother’s Day) and the day off is SO welcomed.

    Be well,

  2. Hi Ron,

    It’s so warming to have such an appreciative reader! I love St Francis too–I curated an art exhibition about him once, and loved how he called every creature “Brother” and “Sister”.

    By the way, it hasn’t escaped my notice that you live in the city of brotherly love! And by the looks of it, you are keeping that tradition alive!

    Thanks so much,

  3. Evening Vicki!

    I would have LOVED to seen that exhibition!!!!

    Last March I spent 4 days in total isolation at a St. Francis Hermitage in Aston, Pa.

    It was like something out of a Disney film. I had a small one room cabin (very basic). I brought just enough food to last 4 days, 1 book, a journal, and my portable c.d. player, with 1 c.d.

    It was amazing, because even though I was in total seclusion and silence, I was filled with the most vast and inspirational voices…I’ve EVER heard.

    Beautiful deer and various birds, flocked around my cabin every single morning at 5:30 AM. I would sit inside, sipping my coffee, looking through the back window….and just weep.

    I could ACTUALLY feel the essence of St. Francis on the grounds.

    It was so LOVING!

    The day before I left, I cried like a baby, because I did NOT want to return to my city life.

    But like all “mystical experiences”…we must take what we learned…and then apply it to our everyday life here.

    Damn it!

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you.

    Oh…and about the “City of Brotherly Love”??? HA-HA! Thank you for the sweet compliment. HOWEVER, Philadelphia… very lost and frightened. I was born here and never felt like I belonged. I moved to Florida for almost 20 years and then returned 6 years ago. I too felt…..”Wow… I’m back in the city of LOVE! It’s sad to say….but very true…..Philadelphia is a city that won’t ACCEPT love….therefore…..cannot give it.

    I have a comfortable life here, and have learned some wonderful lessons, but I can honestly say….I don’t LIVE here.

    I am in the process of allowing myself to be inspired to move to a place closer to nature and more “conciously open”. I’m feeling Vermont. I have a friend there and hopefully I’ll be able to visit sometime this summer, to check it out.

    In the meantime…..I create my own happiness and LOVE!

    It’s a pleasure to share with you.

    Be well,

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