Wayward Chickens Chasing Dreams

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© Kari Helm

I was chatting on the phone with one of my friends today when she noticed that one of her chickens had gone rouge and escaped its pen.

Now, I’m not one to pigeonhole other species, but it you’ve ever been by chickens then you know that they are the Jason Bournes of the bird world. Well… maybe not in intelligence but certainly in stealthiness.

Think ninja but with feathers. That’s a chicken.

Honestly, those little buggers can be a testament to your endurance. Just trying to catch one of them will send you reeling into flashback hell as memories surface from those horrible days of gym class. And I’m not talking the days when you had fun playing dodgeball or capture the flag. I’m talking those days when you had to run the mile or climb the rope or, in other words, die a slow death of mortification from your utter lack of physical prowess.

Meanwhile the entire goal to capturing these feathered ninjas is to make the chicken think you’re some poor, unassuming sop walking around in circles for kicks and giggles. All the while you’re discovering uncharted territory in the far corners of your eye, as you test out your mad peripheral vision skills, in an attempt to outwit this two-legged speed demon from hell as you try to get close enough to nab it.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad.

Also, now might be a good time to mention that I might be just the teensy, tiniest bit biased. After all, I did have a scarring experience with my brother when we were younger and a rooster chased us around like we were to blame for all his misfortunes in the world. Suffice it to say, we were little and the rooster was like a raptor with wings. And it was mean. Like pluck-your-eyes-out mean. And it almost got us…

Fast forward to many, many years later and both my brother and I are healthy as horses. Or at least one of us is. I mean, how healthy can I be if I’m venting over chickens and calling them feathered ninjas?

But that’s a whole other ballpark. So back to the story…

Where were we?

Oh yeah, my friend’s chicken had just escaped its cooped asylum and was on the lam. Not cool, chicken. Not cool.

My friend, of course, had to let me go so she could chase the wild beastie down before it did something really crazy. Like what? I don’t know. But knowing what they’re capable of, I’m sure it’d be something super devious.

Or not. Her chickens are kind of anti-chickeny. I mean, even though I just ranted about how crazy these birds can be, for some reason, hers are kind of mellow. Sneaky, but very mellow.

Anyways, I think you’re probably getting sick of me ranting about chickens, so I’ll just get to the point. And my point is this: Regardless of what your dream is, be tenacious in going after it.

For these chickens, they just wanted to spread their wings and visit the other side of the fence. For you, it might be a career in acting, becoming a future CEO, publishing your first novel, or whatever else. And, to put it bluntly, you’re going to fail. So many times you are going to fail. And sometimes epically.

But take a note from this chicken story and don’t give up when you’re put back in your pen. Or when you’re told you’re not good enough. Or that you’re too uneducated. Or that you want too much.

Don’t be brought down by the many, many, many times that life will pick you up, sometimes when you think you’re so damn close to attaining whatever it is you’re after, and put you back in that little cage. It will be so tempting to accept your defeat as something that is set in stone and finalized – but it’s not. Sometimes it takes my friend’s chickens months to find another way out, but they still find it and roam free for all of two seconds before they’re caught again.

Don’t give up.

And the next time someone calls you a chicken, just smile at them and say: I prefer the term feathered ninja.

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