I am Thankful for the Naked Chicken

An excerpt from Bare Feet to High Heels~You Don’t Have to be a Beauty Queen to be a Beautiful Person by Jane Jenkins Herlong

When I worked for Allis Chalmers Tractor Company, I rode down many long interstates with mile after mile of nothing. One day I noticed a chicken truck loaded with broilers on their way to becoming grocery store items. Feathers were flying down the interstate behind the speeding truck—nothing unusual.

As we made our approach, I noticed something on the top of a cage. I fixed my eyes on this object until we were alongside the speeding semi. It was a chicken. Not only had it escaped from its cage, but it was featherless. Completely naked. The chicken was holding on to the top of the truck with every fiber in its little pink body. I knew the odds were against it, but I was pulling for the thing. The truck would lag behind as it traveled up grades of highway, then pass us on the way down. This continued for at least forty miles. I was fascinated watching that chicken hang on.

The forces of wind may have weighed on my interstate entertainment; eventually it may have “gone with the wind.” I don’t know. The last time the truck zoomed by us, the chicken was still on its mission.

Today, when I go to the poultry section at Bi-Lo, I think about that chicken. It reminds me of the price we pay for holding on to something we believe in. First, we have to believe in ourselves enough to get out of our own cage.  It is only then and only then, we are truly set free.

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