Henny Chicken left her job after working nineteen years for KFC corporate. She had thought of leaving many times, but each time she was about to pull the plug, she moved up the pecking order, and edged a little closer to the proverbial wire ceiling. It was different this time though! She had endured her tail feathers being stroked for the last time, and hush promotions to ease her squawking no longer mattered. Just once, she would like to move up the corporate ladder for what happened from the neck up, rather than the neck down. The paper promotions resulted in slight improvement, but in some ways set her up for even more harassment. The bosses looked at her as willing to do whatever to get a promotion, and the rest of the employees looked at her as a chicken lipped Jezebel sleeping her way to the top. She loved her job, and did not want to leave, but what else could a hen do? Being treated and thought of as less than a chicken stuck in her craw, and made her miserable. All she wanted was to work and live in a place where a chick could cross the road and not have her motives or gender questioned.
The cutesy office breast and leg jokes grew old even if breasts were the foundation for the company and her pension. She simply could not take being considered a piece of meat any longer. Scratching out a living for chicken feed instead of living off her fluffy corporate paycheck would be difficult, but for a new life, she knew she was up to the challenge. Besides, she couldn’t wait to see the company struggle without her; after all, the rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods. KFC would be a chicken with its head cut off without her. So, Henny built up her nest egg, and flew the coop to set out on her own.
The first morning after leaving her job was the best. She slept until noon, dressed like a stinking sloppy crow, and relaxed all day on her balcony. Wrapped in the warmth of sunshine and her new life, she couldn’t believe how free and renewed she felt. It was an incredible feeling! No roosters interested more in what was under her feathers than what was between her ears; no obligatory seductive cackles to massage rooster egos; and no constant greasing the skillet to keep peace! The only time her tail feathers were ruffled was when she scratched. What more could she ask for; her new life was simply heaven.
Unfortunately, outside her modest coop, the same was not true. To her surprise, the outside world was more twisted than the corporate world. She could not walk past a street corner without hearing a breast, thigh, or leg joke. Unlike the office, on the street there was no pretentious cutesiness, it was strictly hard core, and there was no promotion if she was offended, which of course she was. At least the roosters at work engaged in a certain amount of quality control, and treated her to her beak like a real chicken. All the cock-a-doodle-doos she met now were interested in was tenderness, juiciness, and flavor as if she was a USDA commodity. Bottom line, they were only interested in the amount of usable lean meat on her carcass. The cool cat raccoons and possums were the worst of the lot.
Her social life also suffered. Engaging in hen parties with friends from her old job was not fun anymore since she was no longer privy to the latest greatest gossip from around the feeding and water troughs and had little to share. Even the chick flicks she at first attended twice a week left her feeling violated and used since they were nothing more than a banty rooster on a June bug story. She also found going to the Cock of the Walk with her girl-hens for cocktails was no longer as much fun. She had nothing in common with her old friends, and new friends were as hard to find as hen teeth. The only bright side was she no longer had to put up with the cock and bull of the workplace.
One morning, after a less than fun night out, Henny woke and went for a long walk. She had to admit that her new life had turned out to be egg on her face, she was still miserable, and KFC was doing wonderfully without her, which left her with little to do but brood. After a while, she noticed a possum and armadillo following her. From the look in their eyes there was little doubt they thought she looked finger licking good, so Henny picked up her pace. She walked around the block several times hoping to lose them, but with each lap they gained ground until they were virtually parting her back feathers with their breaths. But, she was not hatched yesterday; she knew exactly what to do. She crossed the street. Not thinking, the possum and armadillo followed her, and were immediately flattened by a Sanderson Farms chicken truck, proving once again that unlike a chicken some creatures indeed cannot cross the road.
Roadkill always made her feel safe and at ease, but there was also a slight tinge of sadness. She couldn’t imagine living a life confined to one side of the road. Being so cooped up would have driven her crazy. At that moment a light clicked on in her head. There was no time draining incubation period; the most marvelous idea of her life merely hatched! It was a made from scratch idea that would allow her to finally come home to roost. Instead of being subjected to constant poppycock as she was in her old job, she would rule the roost. She might have to wing it at first, but the more she thought about it, the better she liked her idea.
Two years later, Henny was the talk of Egg Street. She not only manipulated her idea into a multibillion dollar enterprise, but she bought KFC and opened a line of fleece and feather lined lingerie as well. However, the kingpin of her financial kingdom remained embedded in that one brilliant roadkill inspired idea known to investors as HES and globally as Henny’s Escort Service for Potential Road Kill Victims. For the first time in the history of the world, raccoons, possums, and armadillos could travel anywhere they chose safely. Henny’s only stipulation other than getting paid was raccoons, possums, and armadillos had to swear off ruffling tail feathers, breast and thigh jokes, and other obnoxious behavior toward hens. As for, boastful strutting harassing roosters, the business world followed Henny’s lead and stripped them of their management positions and relegated them to assist at diaper changing stations in public restrooms. As for Henny, she slept until noon every day, dressed like a stinking sloppy crow, and relaxed all day on her penthouse balcony reading, For Whom the Chicken Crows, which of course she wrote.
Moral of the Story:
With a cool head and imagination, it is possible to make chicken salad out of chicken poop.
©Jack Linton, January 6, 2018