The Story of Little Chicken Explorer July 31, 2019

Once upon a time, there was a little chicken. She was young and her world quite limited by the barn and walls of her run. Little Chicken had many friends inside her coop, but she dreamed of the world outside with sunlight, bright green grass and delightful, skittering bugs to chase. “Stay inside where it is safe,” advised her sister. “There is nothing out there but danger – hawks, owls, raccoons, and opossums. Here it is safe and nothing can hurt you.”

Little Chicken thought, and thought, and thought about what her sister said, but it didn’t seem all that dangerous looking out at the big, wide world through the windows of the coop. In fact, it looked downright appealing, she thought as she watched a swallowtail fly past the window in the early morning light. “Why do they settle for this little coop when so much more is right outside?” she wondered.

Little Chicken decided to look for a way to get out and go exploring. The fence was high, a full six feet or more, but she was a determined little bird and flapped her wings hard, taking a running start. She managed to get halfway to the top before she hit the fence, falling to the ground in a humph of ruffled feathers. The others stopped looking for bugs and bathing and laughed at her, calling her “silly bird” and “ruffled butt”, however, this only served to make Little Chicken more determined to succeed.

Little Chicken Explorer escapes the fence
Up Up and Over! Little Chicken Explorder’s Great Escape.

Again and again Little Chicken tried to fly over the fence. She was making one last attempt when she flew a bit too upright and her chest hit the fence – her toes grabbed at the fence as she flapped her wings desperately so she wouldn’t fall again, and, as she did, she began going up! Her toes grabbed at the fence and her wings gave her lift as she went up… And up… And over!

With a little squawk of joy, Little Chicken was suddenly FREE! Finally, she thought, I’m not Little Chicken anymore… I’m Little Chicken Explorer! Only… It was a bit scary and lonely out here and she suddenly didn’t feel so safe as a dark shadow passed over her. Little Chicken quickly ducked under a blueberry bush in the garden to hide, grateful for the cover.

Little Chicken Explorer in the vegetable garden
Little Chicken Explorer enjoying her garden adventures.

For a time, Little Chicken scratched and chased bugs and nibbled on the garden veggies, but she was always having to run and hide. “This isn’t so much fun after all,” she thought. “I miss my sisters and our safe little coop.” Little Chicken huddled by the coop as the sun began to set, listening to her sisters arguing about who would get the best spot on the roost that night, wishing she was with them instead of lonely and cold.

Suddenly, Little Chicken heard the familiar “crunch, crunch, crunch” of the farmer’s feet coming to tuck the flock into bed. “What have we here?” the farmer exclaimed, peering down at Little Chicken and back up to the top of the six-foot fence. “We have a Little Explorer today! It looks like you have had your fun and would like to go back home, don’t you?” the farmer murmured as she reached down and gently scooped up Little Chicken. Cradling Little Chicken in her arms, the farmer carried her into the coop, sitting her on the roost with her sisters. Little Chicken was so happy to be back home and safe that she clucked and cooed gratefully to the farmer.

Little Chicken Explorer in her nest box at home.
Little Chicken Explorer is happy to be home and snuggling with her sister hen.

After that, Little Chicken was much happier in her coop and run with her sisters, but every once in a while, when the sun was shining bright, she would venture outside for a while knowing her farmer would come and tuck her back into the coop at night.

This story inspired by hens in Forest and Jordana’s flocks, “Merry” and “Gertrude”. Do you have a chicken in your flock who loves to escape and go on adventures? Comment below and share.

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