AND JUST WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
“But, mom, why, why, can’t I go?” the fluffy bundle of feathers pleaded insistently—too insistently. “I’m tired of this old cheap chicken house. I have to walk through mud and dirt. I’ll never make anything of myself just sitting here chirping all day when I’m really not anything but unhappy. Just look over there across the road—look at that mansion-like chicken coop. Boy, do they have it plush.”
“Just go on and on. Just rant and rave. It won’t do you any good. You know momma knows best. It’s not what you think over there. It’s just a ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ chicken race.”
“But, mom, I bet none of those chickens have the name, Joneses.”
“We have all we need—not all we don’t need. Why, those farmers over there have to build better and better chicken coops all the time just to look good. Then they have to throw away half the stuff they never use just to make room for the new and better stuff.”
“Mom, you know it would be so great to just wallow in that plush grass—just to walk over anytime to the automatic feeder and get my food. I’m ready to get fat and full instead of just waiting until our poor chicken farmer comes to barely share a handful.”
“Little one, please just don’t fret over nothing. Even though you think you will have everything, you really have all you need right here—a mom to love you and enough to satisfy your real needs.”
Charlie looked at his mother who was busy trying to find that last speck of old corn that the farmer had spread out on the ground. I know it is hopeless—for her. She is just too old and can never know or appreciate the “good” life like all the young chickens that I want to run around with. All--all just across the road. Just across the road. And Charlie looked covetously at his neighbors.
Charlie mulled over his mom’s words, but all he could think of was to escape and “better” himself. I don’t want to forever be tied to the same place. I know I can find a real place for myself in this world if I will just cross the road.
Suddenly, Charlie said, “I know I can just cross that road if I run really, really fast.” So he finally made up his mind to choose wealth and lots of food over security. Off he dashed across the road. Within seconds of his crossing, a car whizzed, by not even glancing at the tiny, helpless chicken who crossed in front of him.
Not even noticing his close call with death, Charlie continued his convincing debate with himself. Wow!! Look at that big building. Look at all this better grass. This is going to be great!! And Charlie noticed one of the men who were always around the building walking toward him.
“Hey, Dan, look at that—one of our chicks got out of their cage. It’s just a young one, and I know I can catch her and put her back. Just wait a minute and I’ll go get that loose one. We need all the laying hens we can keep in those cages all their lives to lay lots of eggs.” noted the farmer.
What did he say?—keep in cages—lay lots of eggs—I—I can’t do that!! Stay in a cage—no way!! Lay eggs?—I sure can’t do that. What will they do if they really catch me? And Charlie made a quick turn to escape the human hand that had reached down to pick him up.
With all of his tiny chick strength, Charlie literally ran for his life and made it to the road. This time he checked to see if any cars might be coming. He saw none, and he scooted like lightening across the road.
He quickly breathed a deep sigh of relief that he had made it across the road and he ran to find his mom. He literally ran into her in the chicken coop and nestled in her warm, comforting wings.
“Why, Charlie, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you?”
“Mom, you are so right. Just hug me tight for a minute. I do have so much here, right where I am.” And she did just that.
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