What is the last sound a chicken makes before dawn in the last seconds of her last day on Earth?
It is an age-old question that, sadly, I think I can answer.
She was our last surviving chicken, the others having succumbed to either old age or illness or idiocy or foxes.
She may be the only animal in Fooleryland never to have been given a name, so for now let’s call her Chicken Dinner. Through the haze of a deep slumber and a vivid dream I became aware of Chicken Dinner's frantic squawks. In my fitful pre-dawn sleep I finally broke through the surface of the dream with a start and couldn’t decide what was real and what was in my head (this happens constantly). Was the hen in my dream, scratching in the sand at the feet of a character from the TV show “Magnum P.I.,” or was she awake long before daybreak, looking for bugs under my bedroom window?
Eyes open, seeing nothing in the darkness, I listened: nothing. Had I imagined it? I checked the clock - 5:37 a.m. I must have imagined it, because chickens don’t get up that early, do they? Not that I would know; I don’t get up that early either. She must have gotten an early start and run into the fox, right under my bedroom window. Not a feather to be found in the yard, and no one around Fooleryland has seen Chicken Dinner since. Sigh.
Still, it could have been a dream. It makes perfect sense to me that the stuffy futzy character Higgins might demand over and over, with increasing insistency, over the cackling of a deranged hen, “WHAT ABOUT THE HUCKLEBERRIES?”
(Original photo via this guy)
Just another morning in Fooleryland. We’ll miss you, Chicken Dinner.