As told by Dude…
It was the night before Christmas, when I spotted the weirdest sight. I was totally minding my own business, you know; just enjoying the moonlight during my occasional evening stroll. Suddenly the silent night was broken by this weird cackle. As I walked on, the cackles like … grew louder. It was just … weird, you know.
I was curious, so I followed the sound. I came upon an abandoned alley and what I saw there just totally blew my mind. Not literally, of course, ‘cause if it did I would not be writing this… Anyway, before me were these chickens – possibly hundreds. Everywhere! I paused when I realized that I hadn’t been noticed, thankfully. What struck me then was their intelligence, ‘cause they were all like facing this stage (but it was really an upside-down bucket). They kept on cackling as if they were waiting for something. And as I listened, it was almost as if I could hear what they were saying. It totally felt like something out of a Disney/Pixar flick.
I gave them names based on how they looked. So, here goes.
Poulson walked over to the makeshift stage. He was a big brown broiler, tall and stocky, who carried himself with authority. Clanging his foot on the stage he yelled over the noise, “Attention, everyone! Attention!” He couldn’t get them to settle down. “KOW-KA-DOODLE-DOO!”
The noise reduced, punctuated by some yells. “Hey, keep it down Mister! You’re gonna wake up the humans.”
“Thank you,” Poulson said. “Thank you, one and all. Now, I would first like to thank you all for coming to this special Poultry Convention. It truly is grand to see all of you. Truly birds of a feather … well, multiple feathers. The point being, we are all chickens, and we regard our kin with honour and dignity.”
From the front, Madam Henson squawked, “Get on with it!”
Poulson nodded. “Of course, we all know that tomorrow is Christmas Day –“
“Christmas Day?” Someone screeched.
“Christmas Day?!” As one the crowd became restless, with screams and cries. Apparently, they dreaded that holiday.
Poulson was frustrated. “Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you didn’t know this was coming!”
“I thought Christmas was last year?!” someone yelled.
“Well, that’s the funny thing about Christmas: it’s kind of an ‘annual’ sort of thing? Why do you think they fed us so much all year?”
“We thought they loved us so much,” Miss Featherly said, gasping like she would faint.
“What do we do?”
Poulson tried to quiet the crowd. “Fellas, fellas! Hold your gizzards! We need to prepare!”
McCluckster leaped forward. “I know what we gotta do, lads!” He bellowed in his Scottish accent. “I says we attack those humans first, before they can attack us, ya!”
“Yeah!” the cry rang out. “Finish them off!”
“Who gave them the right to eat us chickens, anyway?”
“What, they think they’re better than us?!”
Poulson was losing his crowd. “Fellas! We can’t do that! It’s too risky!”
“What are ya? Chicken?” McCluckster retorted.
Poulson arched a brow. “As a matter of fact, I am … chicken. But hear me out, this was why I brought us here, to listen to—“
“What?” yelled Otis, a young cockerel that sounded like a black American, as he leaped to the front. “Our last sermon before we are busted into the fryin’ pan? Look, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me. I can’t afford to die.”
“And you most likely won’t!” Poulson said. “You lack the meat the humans want. You’re still young.”
“Oh,” Otis said introspectively. “Lucky for me, then. I get to live! Sorry ol’ chaps … uh … ahem … ‘scuse me.” The others just stared at him.
McCluckster shook his head and stamped his feet, his feathers on end. “Well I’ve go’ a family. My young’uns are still just hatchlings, and I can’t afford to lose their mother … or meself either.”
Poulson waved his feathers. “Elder Hancock wanted to share a few words with us.”
From the way the crowd responded, I knew that whoever Hancock was he must’ve been highly respected. It was then that I noticed him. He was this white cock with saggy eyes and a faded red crest. He was not as big as McCluckster, no, but he looked like he could have been a superhero in his younger days. The chickens moved out of the way as he stepped up to the bucket and faced the crowd.
His voice was deep and gave evidence to his age. “One of our own, Marty Clucker Cling, told of his dream. He dreamt that, one day white chickens and black chickens would cross the road together, and no humans would ask why.”
The chickens all nodded in agreement. “True that.”
Hancock continued, “But nothing brings chickens together like the dread of the looming human holiday – Christmas. For years, I’ve watched many of our own fall at the hand of the human blade at Christmas. I also used to dread Christmas, until I met my friend, Hamster. Hamster was a pig—“
“Hamster?” someone called out.
Hancock paused, clearly not expecting the interruption. “Yes, Hamster.”
“Thought you said he was a pig!”
“Yes. Like I said, Hamster was a pig—”
“Make up your mind, old bird! Was he a pig or a hamster?”
By now the others were raising their voices to silence the critic. I was almost sure I saw Oldman Hancock roll his eyes.
“Anyway,” he continued. “Hamster was a pig, and we both lived on a farm up in Abeokuta. One day, he came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. ‘Hey,’ he said, ‘that orphanage down the road needs food for their Christmas party. Why don’t we contribute some eggs and ham?’
“I loved his idea, and I told him that. He added, ‘For you, it’s just a contribution. But for me, it’s going to be sacrifice.’
“I didn’t get it until Christmas Day. We got some of the hens in our barn to donate their eggs, and they gladly gave them to the orphanage. They also got ham, so everyone was glad. I didn’t realize it until I noticed Hamster was missing. You see, he had given himself so that they could have ham.”
Hancock bowed his head to hide a tear. “That’s what Christmas is all about.”
For a moment the place was silent. Then McCluckster broke the silence. “That just proves it, then! Those humans killed your friend!” The crowd was riled up. “They’re evil, all of them!”
Poulson tried to calm the crowd, but it didn’t work. Hancock raised a wing, and everyone fell silent. “You missed the point. You see, Christmas is about the Maker giving Himself.”
Someone in the front asked. “Are you talking about … the Maker maker? As in the Maker?”
Hancock exhaled and nodded. “Yes, the Maker. The One that made us all. He saw that the humans were held captive by evil itself, and they had become its evil minions. It made them become evil, and doomed. He wanted to pay for all their wrongs and give them a new life. The only way for Him to do that was for Him to become human, so that He could pay for their wrongs by dying. Just like Hamster did for those orphans. He sacrificed himself. Though our Maker rose again.”
McCluckster cocked his head. “I still don’t get it.”
This time Hancock did roll his eyes. “Humans celebrate the day He came, as a little baby, on Christmas.”
Poulson raised a wing. “So it’s not all about killing chickens, is it?”
“Well, we all have different paths. Humans, chickens. The Maker gave the humans the license to eat any animal they’re given as food, with thanksgiving. Including us.”
For a moment, the alley was all silent. I guess you could have heard a pin drop in that moment.
“Oh, that’s just fantastic!” McCluckster broke the silence. ”So the Maker wants a bunch of two-legged meat-eaters to gulp us down their throats, and thank Him?”
“You’re missing the point…”
And the crowd was riled up again. McCluckster were definite about his plot to deal with the humans, and he was not shutting up about it. Poulson was trying to calm the crowd down, and Hancock was simply shaking his head. It was a madhouse out there.
Until one of the chickens turned and yelled. “HUMAN!!!”
As one, the entire convention turned to me, a gasp visible on their faces. Dun-dun-DUUUUNNN! Bummer.
Words fail me to describe the jitters I felt. I grinned sheepishly and waved a little. “Hi?”
McCluckster was the first to scream … in fear. “A human!!! Run for ya lives! It’s everrry chicken ferrr ‘imself! AAAAAHHHH!!!” He jumped on the spot, shrieking as he ran in circles. He was totally freaking out, you know, and the whole crowd was riled up again. You know, with feathers flying everywhere, and stuff.
The last thing I saw before I ran off was Poulson staring at McCluckster, a smirk on his face. “Chicken,” he said.
To this day, I haven’t seen another chicken talking. But, when I’m not there, I’m almost certain they are. It’s totally freakish, you know.
Oh, and Merry Christmas in advance to you guys. And, remember, it’s not about the stuff you eat. It’s all about the Son of God, and how He came to earth in the form of a human. I think that was totally cool, you know? Like an undercover mission? God as a man?
Anyway, He snuck behind enemy lines so He could rescue us from sin and death. That’s what we’re celebrating at Christmas.
Thank you for reading, y’all. God bless ya!
One more thing: I must not forget this part. A big shout-out to Emmanuel Presents (weird, right? I mean, who has a last name like ‘Presents’?!) for putting this up on his blog. Thanks, mate.