Why did the chicken cross the road?
I have to be honest from the outset and admit that I didn’t actually see the chicken cross the road, I only heard about it once it had already happened. I did try asking several people at the scene if they knew why the chicken had crossed the road and where it was now, but none of them could give me a logical answer or even a clue. Don’t get me wrong they all had their own thoughts and theories ranging from the wildly ridiculous, to the presumptuous, because it wanted to get to the other side, but none of them could say for sure. Indeed none of what they actually said rang true with me at all, so I decided to investigate the matter for myself.
Like all great detectives, by a series of evaluations and eliminations I decided to start at the beginning, I went back to the coup. To say the other chickens were keeping mum was an understatement, if they knew anything they were not for telling! In fact if I’m brutally honest they were all really ignorant, you’d of thought I was speaking another language, the way they all just looked at me calmly and then carried on with what they were doing.
Realising I would get no answers there I headed off towards the direction of the main farm, surely someone there would be able to answer my questions?
After extensive digging here and there and talking to everyone present, it became clear that if anyone knew the truth they were sitting on it and refusing to budge. As the plot thickened so my resolve grew to get to the bottom of it.
I went back to the scene of the crime feeling certain that I must have overlooked something. Sadly all I found there were a single feather and two small muddy footprints that were slowly beginning to dry and fade into the midday sun. I decided to take a break, finding a bench close to the scene I sat down and took my hastily prepared packed lunch out of my bag. It didn’t look appetising I’m not going to lie, but beggars can’t be choosers, so I gave thanks and began to tuck in.
Captivated by the busyness of life on the high street I momentarily forgot why I was there. I say momentarily because one minute I was enjoying watching as people laughed, chatted and went about their busyness, but one bite of my Quorn faux chicken barm, and I was right back to the question, why did the chicken cross the road? There had to be reason and a good one at that.
My thoughts landed somewhere in the centre of what had been said, assumed, suggested, proposed and what hadn’t been said and thus reading between the lines my mind began to formulate an answer. Whether or not it was the right answer was yet to be proven but I had the makings of an answer and for the moment I was happy to explore that.
Even though the chicken’s brothers from other mothers and the sisters from other misters had remained silent in the coup, their silence had spoken volumes. It was all about the pecking order, top down control, bottom up defiance, middle of the road compliance.
Then there was the farmer’s wife and that empty pie… I know what you’re thinking and believe me when I say those were my thoughts exactly. And why such a sharp knife if you were supposedly only going to trim the pastry lid. I was having none of it; she knew it too but kept silent. Had the chicken seen the empty pie case, had it glimpsed the rising sun reflected in the cold hard steel of the knife? I had my suspicions…
Just then another face popped into my head. Don’t even get me started on the shady character from that well known fast food company, came the voice from within. Rumour had it that they were toying with the idea of using real chicken in their products, and well let’s face it, rumours like that are enough to send any chicken running for its life, road or no road. No chicken worth its salt would even tempt fate and wait around to find out if that particular rumour was true or not. And from what I knew about this chicken it was not the sort to take unnecessary chances, that’s why crossing the road just didn’t make any sense to me, well not at first glance anyway.
I think the suggestions that were made by some at the scene, that claimed that the chicken didn’t even know it was crossing the road, were a little bit much really, after all it had been of sound mind enough to get from the farm, past the fast food manufacturers at the end of Newport street, to the High street, which let’s face it was no mean feat in itself. To my mind that proves that it was no accidental crossing, this chicken knew exactly what it was doing and why it was doing it.
I didn’t buy the following trail of breadcrumbs theory either, no this chicken was of sound mind, and thus in my opinion had a valid reason for doing what no other chicken before it had dared, or even tried to do.
I was intrigued to say the very least and determined to do my utmost to ensure that like every other great legend of bravery and valour before it, this chicken’s story, the whole truth and nothing but of it, would indeed be remembered and re-told for generations to come.
Like a light being unexpectedly turned on by a switch in my head my thoughts took a different turn, and somewhere in my mind’s eye I could clearly see a boat full of young men and an image walking towards them on the water. All at once without any glimmer of real thought or provocation, one of the young men stood to his feet and devoid of any fears or reservation regarding his safety, or lack thereof, of it, he stepped out onto the water to embrace that which we are told to him was his life’s very meaning.
Peter saw his saviour and doing what no one else in that boat would do, he stepped onto the water and he began to walk towards Jesus…
Now anyone who knows the story will know that Peter didn’t quite make it (for those of you who don’t know the story, Peter didn’t quite make it, overcome by the sheer exuberance and brevity of the situation, Peter began to sink and Jesus had to rescue him), but the fact we need to focus resolutely on here, is that Peter was the only one who got out of the boat and tried. He was the only one that got over himself, that got past his fears, ignored the waves, banished the ghosts, the only one to silence those internal voices that tell us we can’t and he walked on water.
Peter did what no one before him, or no one after him had ever done (other than Jesus Himself), he walked on water. He pursued his dream, his reason, his purpose, his passion with each and every single beat of his heart, with every breath in his body, every fibre of his being. Peter’s will and his soul, his mind and his spirit were all at once aligned and thus engaged in one single objective, the pursuit of his major definite purpose. With his eyes fixed firmly and determinedly on his prize, he went for it whilst everyone else did absolutely nothing.
I can’t help but wonder if I would have got out of that boat and walked on water? I like to think I would but you see that is often our biggest problem, we all can convince ourselves that when the time comes to follow our dream, make that call, take that risk, make that move etc. we would, but seriously if that were true, if that were the case, would the picture we see of life, of the world that we all live in truly look the way it looks today?…
Aren’t we just kidding ourselves when we say yes I would get out of the boat and walk on water, I would run my race, write that book, climb that mountain, cross that road. Have we not been ‘All the good people who do nothing’ for so long that in all honesty, that’s really all we truly know how to do…Nothing!
We don’t rock boats and we certainly don’t get out of them and walk on water . . . Do we?!
But hang on a minute I hear you say, what does all this have to do with why a chicken crossed a road?
Trust me it has everything to do with it.
You see on the other side of the road that chicken knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that everything it ever hoped or dreamt of was across there waiting for it. It has seen in its heart and in its dreams where it needed to go, what it needed to do and when the coup was left open momentarily, like Peter before it, it saw its chanced and it seized it with both wings.
Interestingly like the other people in the boat that day with Peter, not one other chicken tried to walk out of the coup in those moments when opportunity called, when destiny paid them a visit. Not one other chicken saw anything worth leaving for, and even though the shadow of the cold steel blade was cast across the coup for all to see, they never once thought of leaving behind all that they knew, to go out there and discover the truth, the real truth, the whole truth and nothing but of who and why they were. And like so many before them their destiny and all of its purpose and potential, was simply handed back like an unwanted, unopened gift to the giver of life.
Our chicken, this unsung hero in our midst, crossed the road because it suspected that there could be more, that it could be more and so putting one foot in front of the other, the chicken crossed the road and made it to the other side, where all of its hopes and dreams, and possibilities stood cheering it on.
And I don’t know about you but when people ask me what I want to be remembered for I want to stand and say in all truthfulness that I may not have walked on water (yet!), but I crossed the road.
I ditched comfort and took a hold of adventure; I dismissed safety and employed courage. I shunned security and embraced the unknown. I fired logic and went after possibility. I, like Peter before me took my chance, seized my opportunity, reached out and grabbed a hold of my prize, I like the chicken before me, crossed the road.
Why, because I too knew beyond all doubt that across the road was my beginning…
And it was.
But what about you, where is your beginning?
Where are you? Safe in the coup, happy in the boat, oblivious to the life that’s waiting for you, calling to you, hoping with everything inside of it that you’ve capture your moment and wholeheartedly embraced it?
Where are you, are you poised, ready to seize your day?
When your moment comes… and it will, you have to know how you will respond; you have to be prepared, ready, willing…
I wonder will you walk on water, will you cross the road, or will you be one of the others in the boat, in the coup, whose names we never hear, whose stories we never read, whose deeds we never talk about, whose examples we choose not to remember?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it trusted that it could and it believed that it should.
Written by Tracey Odessa Kane 10th March 2014 ©.
(Dear Roy, I think you’ve had more enough credit now, for all the quotes and lines that you lift directly from my blogs and my poetry. Give it a rest now and think for yourself! #Copyright).
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