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Monday, March 3, 2014


Once upon a time there was a very, very old chicken who was about to lay her last egg. She was that old.  One day while strolling around in the coop, dragging her stiff , right chicken leg, she flashbacked to a former wish and clucked, fumed, wattled her red puckered head topknot and announced to all, "I wish I could fly like other birds! I'm feeling so cooped up."
Her new friend, a jaunty. fluffy topped fun-filled henette answered with wing flutters and faux attempts at flights from her second story perch. She said, "Cheer up old hen, try this. Close your eyes, jump and honest to God it's the next best thing to flight!" "Bawk bawk ", said the old hen, "I've had too many disappointments and laid too many bad eggs. Your flying excitement is not contagious, my dear little fuzzy one. Besides here comes the boss and lights are soon out for the night. It's 7pm and time to roost."
Old arthritic hen climbed to the top perch where she could keep her beady eyes on everything and either warn the tribe if possums got under their fence or correct the young chicks if they stayed out too late. But because of her numb and cold right chicken leg, she fell, not fell but crashed to the ground after a dream about many particularly disturbing events. She surmised that she had been running while asleep to distance herself from the pain of life.
It was winter and a coma producing fog of ice, sleet, smog and a polar vortexed series of storms wrecked havoc with not only the outside world but with the coop itself. The detritus from the storm was everywhere, even inside the coop, and  her wings  had gotten twisted in the fall so hypothermia had just about set in and most of her chicken teeth which she called her chicklets, chattered; her beak turned a bright red and in an attempt to unfreeze herself from the snow-sludge-muck on the coop floor, she called out for her fluffy henette friend, "Henette, this is horrible! I'm miserable and have one thousand and 55 reasons to bawk, bawk about my life. This happened, that happened. Look at me now, I'm incapacitated and nearly frozen to death. Take my top perch if I die, OK? It's yours. I haven't made a will but I will scratch out my wishes in the dirt, right here."
The tough old bird then looked into the eyes of the fluffy henette and noticed that her friend had raised her wing to wipe her own tearing eyes. "Old hen, I'm crying for you. I want to help you. Listen. This is a big wonderful secret and today is the day I give it to you. Here it is." And the feathery henette gently scooped the old hen from the floor of the coop, flapped her wings so the warm air would dry off her old feathers, and even gave her 7 kernels of corn she had stashed in the back of the coop for her own afternoon snack.  Finally when all was settled and quiet and numinous, she whispered in the old hen's chicken ear her secret. She said, "OLD HEN, WHEN YOU LEARN HOW TO CRY, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO FLY."
Never the end.

Linda Mary Montano 2014, Linwood Retreat

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