Friday night I drove up the ridge coming back from our grocery shopping expedition when at one of the intersections toward home I suddenly hit the brakes. Sauntering across the road, calm as can be, with nary a thought in her head about the Econoline E-350 van right in front of her was a large black hen.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The random flock of wild turkeys are a commonplace sight up here, but this hen? I hadn’t seen a chicken anywhere near our subdivision! And all sorts of thoughts were going through my head as I waited for her to finish crossing the road.
- It’s the chicken crossing the road joke!
- I can’t move the van–she’s not stopping.
- I don’t want to hit this thing–she’s someone’s pet!
- **Visualize hitting Sunday dinner with a van** Unpleasant.
- Please God don’t let some teenager come screaming up the hill and rear end us over a chicken.
- HURRY UP you stupid hen.
- If I honk will she move faster or will she go spastic and then…oh…no…
Coming out of the same woods, looking much more skittish and frightened was her rooster. He, however, was having none of the crossing the road business, to my relief. Turning my attention back to the hen, I saw she had safely passed my van and as the rooster was still pacing along the edge of the road, I went ahead and made my turn. Glancing at the hen as I did so, I noticed that once she reached the safety of the road embankment, she turned.
Yes, she turned, and looked back at the rooster, and for all practical purposes it looked as if she had settled down and was waiting for him to make up his mind and just cross the blasted road!
I did check for feathers on the roadside when I went out again on Saturday and fortunately did not see any. Hopefully those two returned safely to the coop from their adventures, because on that part of the road there are those who, well, probably wouldn’t have minded a free chicken dinner….