This is a story of the luxury of kindness. We lovingly call it the Chicken Chronicles. It all started last week when our cat, Quincy, spotted a lost chicken in the nearby storm channel that also doubles as backwash for the tides and marshes of Sandyland Beach near our home.
As city dwellers a chicken sighting is not exactly commonplace and we simply did not know how to help this creature find its way home. Luckily, our nearby pet supply store had hen scratching (chicken food), which we offered our new friend “Hen Rietta” as she settled in the bushes for the night. The pet supply people offered to up a photo of our lost hen on their community bulletin board.
The next day, we called our local Animal Control who was happy to come by to rescue her. However, they were unable to catch Hen-Rietta. So, we kept her fed until we could figure out another solution.
At our farmer’s market, we spoke to some chicken fanciers who told us to try and pick her up at night, when she got drowsy. Apparently, chickens do not resist once they fall asleep.
Later in the day we asked our next-door neighbor for additional suggestions and she happened to know some people a couple blocks away who raise chickens. We followed up on the lead and sure enough they were eager to help. It took three of us to corner Hen-Rietta, but it worked!
On closer inspection we discovered that she was injured. Out of concern and kindness they were willing to adopt her and nurse her back to health. They understood that, if Hen-Rietta’s actual owner showed up through Animal Control, they would give her back.
They placed Hen-Rietta in a special cage away from their chicken coup for special care, but close enough to make her feel at home. Her relief was palpable and her appetite was hardy! We thanked these folks for their genuine kindness and they thanked us by giving us a dozen of their fresh eggs, which we shared with our next-door neighbor.
An abundance of goodwill, camaraderie and a sense of community were generated from something so simple: taking care of a lost chicken. Sure, we went out of our way to do this. But, so did our neighbors and the Animal Control people. There was no ulterior motive to pay anything forward. It really was a fun experience and we got to meet some wonderful people.
The eggs were not a reward; although they were absolutely delicious. To us they were a symbol of kindness- the luxury of kindness.
Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
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