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January 6, 2012 / 74

Thousand Yard Stare

I just saw something that no man, and few women could see and remain unaffected. Something that the memory of seeing it would stay with them until they die. I was up at the barn, just tending to business and I happened to pass by the chicken pens. I glanced inside and there, in the back of one of the deep nests was a chicken – a chicken with a 1000 yard stare!

That bird had been through the wars. It was jumped by a rooster nearly twice its size and roughed up. Then it found itself being compelled to leave the beautiful weather outside and go inside to the nest boxes. Once inside the deep nest, there was something – something that would not be denied!

With gut wrenching force it expelled a foreign object that landed in the straw of the nest and made a lump beneath it. And then it just sat there.

That’s when I saw it. Who knows what it was thinking. Whether it was contemplating suicide, or trying to gather what there was of its wits. I’d ask it and tell you but I don’t speak chicken, and the chicken doesn’t speak human.

All I could do was to quietly go away and leave it to work out its own destiny, to look deep into its psyche and determine if it had the will, the strength to go on. Who knows but what maybe it was working out how to get revenge on the rooster. Or to wait until near dark and make a break for the woods. Maybe somewhere out there was a place where a mild mannered chicken could go and live in peace with its fellow creatures without being molested.

I closed the chicken house door and quietly went away. The last time I looked, she was still sitting there… staring.

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