Empathy and other human traits by Stella Pierides

After falling through the rafters and getting trapped under heavy perches, Lucky was rescued three days later and adopted into a happy home. Being both smart and considerate, she settled in well, and became her savior Molly’s pet. Despite appearances though, she never liked the Badedas bath she was regularly given. It smelled strange to her, too human. Why didn’t Molly use it herself instead, Lucky wondered. But she would not count her blessings.

She knew she had been lucky. She had watched the other 11,999 chickens in the factory suffer; she had felt their terror, together with her own, when they were all taken to be turned into something humans call ‘stock cubes.’ She had squeezed herself to the furthest corner. When she fell, she just became numb. At heart, she is indeed a chicken. If Molly knew her secret of survival, she would not admire Lucky. She would pity her.

It was all down to the fact that Lucky dislikes crowds. In the barn, the more the other chickens flocked together, the more she kept apart. Although she rubbed feathers with the others, she kept herself at the edge of the flock.

Now, from a corner in the lounge, Lucky clucks to warn Molly against rubbing shoulders with that human she calls her husband. Humans are strange, she thinks. So clever, yet they don’t realize attachments can be detrimental to survival. Best to stay in your corner.

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8 Comments

Filed under Stella Pierides

8 responses to “Empathy and other human traits by Stella Pierides

  1. Inspiration for this story, including the actual rescue and the Badedas bath detail, which amazingly is what happened, came from this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/8371577/Chickens-are-capable-of-empathy-not-to-mention-jealousy-selfishness-love-and-lust.html
    So it is more fact than fiction! Though I take full responsibility for the thoughts of the chicken!

  2. Nicely done, Stella. Animal stories are tough but because you didn’t try to fool the reader it came off beautifully.

  3. len kuntz

    this reminded me of “the art of racing in the rain.” have you read it?
    nice job, stella.

  4. stellacattini

    Well done! A fascinating twist!

  5. Kelly

    nice meditation on the secrets of survival, nice chicken-thoughts too

  6. Pingback: Week #44 – Crowd | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  7. Loved this Stella. I am a huge animal fan, have been all my life.

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