I saw you for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My husband called you a rooster, but I was pretty sure you were just a Rhode Island Red hen. You were puttering around our yard, digging the live bugs out of our fresh flowerbed mulch. I asked you where your home coop was because I knew you didn’t belong in this fenced-in condo community. Our residents are mostly senior citizens, and they frown on any sort of animal life, except for their own leashed dogs. Cats are not allowed outside, and I know neighbors who nearly have a heart attack if a mouse or a water bug crawls under their garage door. I knew you would not be a popular visitor. And I can’t imagine what they would do if they found an egg in their yard.
That day, you took my suggestion and went clucking off toward the fence. I worried about you a little bit. I knew you could get past the fence. It is, after all, only a symbolic fence, with two rails. You probably walked right under it. On the other side of the fence, though, there’s a road, and I knew you were going to cross it. Oh well, I reassured myself, chickens have been crossing roads for a very long time. She’ll know what she’s doing. That was the end of our brief acquaintance. Until this morning!
What were you doing hanging around the Club House? The swimming pool is closed for the season, and even our resident wild duck family (with all their 11 ducklings) left last week for a warmer location. You were close to the road again —(See, I still worry about you!) — but you seemed quite pleased with the chance to investigate our flower beds. You were kicking dry leaves, too, and I know how much fun that can be.
But that’s not the real problem. Has no one told you that Thanksgiving will be here in three more days? It’s the most dangerous day of the year for poultry, as any turkey would tell you. And in this little community, where most houses have only one or two residents, a nice fat chicken like yourself would make an appealing substitute for one of those bigger birds. So please go home! Scurry back across the road and into the woods on your way to your home coop. I don’t want you to end up on a platter.