Saving a lost chicken from disaster

Published 9:32 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

I don’t blame the lady for thinking I was nuts.

After all, it’s not every day that a person finds someone stretched out in a parking lot, singing a lullaby to a chicken.

It all started last Sunday afternoon, with a video posted on Facebook. It was a chicken, wandering around the parking lot of Staples.

After several hours, she was still there, pecking around on the pavement, so I set out on my first chicken rescue.

I arrived at Staples, and there she was a pretty girl, golden and very plump, but it was obvious that she’d had a hard time.

Her comb was scorched and one half of her face had been burned.

I tried chasing her down, but that didn’t go well, and she ended up beneath a parked car, resting in the shade right between the front wheels.

Without thinking it through, I plopped myself down beside the car, flat on the ground with one cheek resting on my outstretched arm, and started talking sweet talk to the hen.

I told her that I figured she must be terrified that there were two fried chicken joints right across the street, and that I knew how hot and tired and hungry she must be.

I promised her air-conditioning and meal worms and a long life free of chicken-strife.

And when that didn’t work, I started singing.

I didn’t even notice that a car was trying to pull into the parking place occupied by my supine form until I was nearly flattened.

Then I looked up and waived at the panicked lady who was opening her door.

“Are you OK, ma’am?” she asked in a shaky voice.

“Oh, yeah! There’s a chicken under here and I’m trying to get it to come out!”

Her expression changed from that of a good Samaritan helping someone who had fallen and couldn’t get up, to one of someone who’d wandered up on a crazy person.

She looked over at her young son, who was in the passenger seat, and said, “You stay in the car, honey.”

Slowly, she made calming motions and keeping one eye on me in case I jumped up and started doing something even crazier than singing to an imaginary chicken.

She walked over to the front of the car and bent at the waist, peering underneath.

“Hey! There’s a chicken under there!” she exclaimed.

Well, together we managed to get “Geraldine” out from under the car and into my arms and the lady left with a smile and a story to tell.

I think some of life’s most magical moments are the ones in which we discover that there is indeed, a “chicken under there!”

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.