Raising Chickens in the Urban Jungle

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We have squirrels everywhere in our town. It’s too bad I can’t sell squirrels to people. Our town is a “Chicken Friendly” community, which is great, but everyone must be friendly towards the squirrels as well because they sure like to stick around. As friendly as our community is towards chickens, however, apparently roosters are too much. I admit that I, too, hate to get rudely awakened by screaming farmyard animals but it can’t be worse than my neighbor’s German Shepherd. It literally barks all day long because it has the brain the size of a peanut and the aggression of a triggered millennial. At any rate, I had a small flock of heritage breeds in the backyard but one of them turned out to be a beautiful Delaware rooster. It had gorgeous, glistening white feathers and bright eyes with a brilliant red comb. I could walk right up to it, pick it up, and complain to it about life’s unfairness. I used to do that with my wife but she responds to my complaining with a list of household chores. My rooster didn’t do that. However, Big Government had it in for my rooster and the town’s regulations said my rooster had to go. I didn’t know what to do with the chicken. I didn’t have the stomach to kill it (as macho as I may seem, I don’t have a heart of stone) and Facebook banned me from trying to advertise it to a good home (they seem to be Communistic in nature and don’t like people advertising pets).

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It occurred to me that my neighbors, a seventy year old couple from Honduras, already had a flock of bootleg chickens (they had no permits) and were eating them. I knew this because their flock diminished daily. The chickens went into the garage and never came out.  Since our friendly, chicken loving neighbors live right across the fence, I decided to mosey on over and give them a free chicken thereby solving my dilemma with the local authorities and winning my neighbors trust.

“Hola, Alberto,” I wave and smile since my Spanish vocabulary is already exahusted. Alberto waves and smiles back. “Hello!” He too, has exhausted his knowledge of the English language with his response.

“Here’s a chicken.” I hold out the rooster, trying to indicate he should grab it. He looked a little puzzled. “It’s too loud,” I say.

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He smiles in acknowledgement, “Aah.. Mucho cockle-doodle-doo!”

I shake my head. “Si!” I indicate he should take the chicken by shoving it into his chest. My wife, who was beside me in the diplomatic mission and knows several more Spanish words than me, offered a bit of advice. “Sopa de Pollo.” (chicken soup)

We walked back to our house and I brushed my hands of the chicken’s fate. Such is life. I hated to see such a handsome head part ways with such a handsome chicken body, it seemed like a waste of a chicken masterpiece, but such is life.

Several weeks later my wife was hanging out with Albertos wife, Maria. My wife asked her how the chicken soup tasted. She laughed uproariously and said, “Alberto, no kill chicken. Alberto just say, ‘My heart, my heart.’ He no kill chicken. We, uh, give to amigo with big backyard. I say, you a man, kill chicken! But he just say, ‘my heart, my heart’ and no kill chicken. Chicken too nice.”

That made me smile. A great chicken can be admired in all cultures.

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