What’s wrong with being a chicken?

Published 11:12 am Sunday, March 7, 2021

I found myself recently running low on pork rinds so a trip to the store became necessary. I noticed that the stores are flooded with everything Easter. I saw every kind of candied egg and chicken-shaped chocolates that I could imagine. It is the one time of the year where we pretend that Rabbits lay eggs and baby chickens are made of marshmallows.

Chickens seem to have a bad reputation;  Anyone that has ever spent any time on an elementary school playground knows that the ultimate insult comes in the form of being called a chicken.

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I have seen multiple poor souls over the years sacrifice their well-being to prove to their friends that they were in fact not a chicken. I can recall many times in my life where I was in this situation as well. When I was young and in elementary school, I remember one of my classmates dared me to throw a paper wad at the teacher. I had no interest in this and as a result, I was called a chicken. As a teenager, I remember walking into the restroom to find some classmates smoking cigarettes. When I refused to participate, they called me a chicken then as well. Later, as a young adult, people would offer me all sorts of illegal drugs, and again when I refused, I was referred to as a chicken.

I never minded being called a chicken. To my friends, a chicken was someone that was stupid and scared. However, anyone that grew up on a farm like I did knows that chickens are far from being stupid or scared. I learned this lesson very well the first time that I was attacked by a chicken for doing nothing but walking by. OK, I might have been chasing them around the barnyard trying to catch them but that’s beside the point. Chickens are in fact very intelligent. In fact, we could all learn a lesson or two from a chicken. Chickens will fight each other at the drop of a hat but then later they hold no grudges and they go back to their business. They get out their aggression and then move on with life. We might all be better off by copying this behavior.

Still, we make jokes about chickens not knowing why they crossed the road and ponder for hours on end of which came first, the chicken or the egg, when we should be pondering how we can treat our fellow man a bit better.

Chickens get the bad reputation of being scared because they will run away when you try to pick them up. If you were being picked up by someone that was five to six feet taller than you, continually robbed your nest of your eggs, and regularly tried to eat you and your family, you might gather that it was time to run away as well.

While some may dream that they are big and powerful like the lion, I, just like the chicken, will spend my day going about my business but will not hesitate to peck your eyes out if you mess with the things I treasure. You can go ahead and fantasize about being the lion or tiger. As for me, I’ll take being called a chicken any day of the week and take it as a compliment.  I’ll walk with my head up and chest out. Unless you look like Colonel Sanders, then it might be time to run away.