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Monday, June 29, 2009

the pecking order.

I like chicken, and chickpeas and Chiclets and chick flicks and chickadees. But mostly I just like chickens. The winged feather version. Bawk-bawk-bawk style. Female chickens actually. The ladies are feisty bitches. Real life mean girls with a very estranged status structure. Yes. I'm talking about the pecking order. I grew up on a farm with a never ending slew of barn animals and it was my job to go collect the eggs every morning. Something I considered an honour, although I'm sure my Mom must have brainwashed me at some point. No 12 year old girl wakes up naturally every morning and thinks "Seven. I bet there's seven eggs today. No... eight." So I would grab my puffy black coat that made me very closely resemble a burnt marshmallow, throw on my blue boots with the ridiculous sparkly fur and flail through the porch door. Always waiting right beside the gate was Bear, my big black sled dog. She would follow me into the narrow coop and the ladies tolerated her with malicious glares. I liked to sit and watch them cluck around sometimes and slowly began to see the immensely detailed social patterns. It all started when the chicken who my little sister had cleverly named Ducky began appearing every morning missing more and more feathers. The other girls were pecking them off. Literally. Then I noticed another chicken, Marina, seemed to have some sort of immunity. She pecked everyone but no one ever pecked her back. Her feathers were always perfect. I swear she spent more time pruning herself then any of the others. Next was Cinnamon who was only pecked by Marina. Then Betty who was only pecked by Marina and Cinnamon... all the way down to Ducky. Who was a waddling free for all pecking ground. It was almost amusing, in a cruel kind of way but my Mom still had to talk me out of trying to teach them to be nice. I'll never forget that conversation.

"They're chickens," she said, "who are we to tell them how to live."


“Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”
Chuck Palahniuk

“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?”
S. Parkes Cadman

“Sometimes I feel like a duck in a chicken coop. And I would give anything in the world to be a chicken instead of a duck.”
Thomas Merton


Android Andrew said...

Great text.

Keep it up.

Philip said...

How 'bout Chick-Fil-A? Where do they stand? :P

That quote from Thomas'm trying to imagine him saying that. Just seems un-Merton-like. But interesting.
Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong guy~

if you happen to be a billionaire...