when chickens cross the road

The other day as I was coming home, I actually had to stop the car because there was a straggling line of chickens moseying across the road.  Single file, no hurry, just a chatty group of hens out for a toddle.  With a supervising rooster, one of the Golden ones, irridescent tail and a major pain in the butt attitude.  The woman coming from the other direction and I both had to stop for the parade which began to move a bit more quickly out of the way, and suddenly? The Rooster started to give us lip- or more properly, beak.  Serious beak.  First he looked at the other woman and gave her a piece of his mind.  Then he walked down and gave ME a ration.  Having things to do other than stay and take abuse from a rooster, I mouthed the word “STEWPOT” in his direction, upon which he jumped back and hurried off after his harem.  The other woman and I were both laughing so hard we couldn’t move for a minute, which REALLY ticked him off.  Wisely, however, he stayed put on the side of the road.  Thus I think the answer to why does a chicken cross the road? is: For the same reason anyone else does, but somehow they just seem to have the manners of Berkeley pedestrians.  Which leads one to wonder if they are totally oblivious to the fact that they are not alone in the world.

I think they do have some awareness, if rudimentary but still greater than some humans, of the fact that there are other beings around them.  This same group of hens was talking to the back fanned out tail of a turkey just a few days earlier, along with several ducks and two small pigs.  They all seemed engrossed, except the turkey, who just kept his tail fanned out and looked into the distance philosophically.  There was a clearly parliamentary air to this gathering, so I am coming down on the side of chickens in fact knowing they are not the only beings on earth. (Even if they persist in talking to someone who ignores their discourse, and when you think about it, just because Mr. Turkey had his back and splendid tail to them doesn’t mean he was ignoring them, in truth.)

This, of course, puts them way ahead of most humans these days.

When the way comes to an end, change, and having changed, pass through- this counsel comes to us via the I Ching.  I always had trouble with this until I figured out that the way you change is not by THINKING about it or insisting on one way or the other.  The way you change is to engage with the present circumstance, use what you know, and go through the doors that are open, even if you don’t understand the writing on them or are scared out of your gourd.   The resistance we put up to change and all the things life brings essentially does nothing but waste energy.  Precious energy.  Nothing stays the same and that is just the way it is.  Holding on to anything, including one’s own misery, is a big waste of time.  Addiction to anything is really like trying to hold on to water pouring through your hands- the initial experience of the refreshing coolness or healing warmth cannot be recreated by continuing to stand there.  You just have to experience it while it is there.  Whatever is truly yours, like the love of another or a piece of music in your mind or a recipe? Stays with you.  All the other stuff is ego flotsam which does nothing helpful in the long run.  Doesn’t even burn calories.

So.  After all this observation, my money’s on the chickens.  I think they do know how to pass through.  I’m observing them much more carefully these days as a result.  In the meantime:


Here’s the REAL teacher.


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] when chickens cross the road […]


  2. Hilarious and full of wisdom


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