Monday, February 20, 2017

Where the Wild Chickens Are

The other day I posted some photos of the area where I live, and talked about how it's not the country by any means but to a girl who grew up in the city, it might as well be. Now, my husband and I take lots of walks. Outside of our development, we pass pens housing cows and horses. We see the occasional slinky otter, a trudging turtle or two, strutting sandhill cranes. Even an alligator now and then, sunning itself on the far bank of a lake. Keep in my mind, we're still on a sidewalk, near a road, with people and cars nearby. This is my kind of nature. (Otherwise, my imagination takes any kind of isolation scenario and runs cackling off with it into a dark and creepy place . . . .)

One day, my husband and I are walking along, minding our own business when something near a fence catches my eye. I don't have the best eyesight - I've been to know to mistake rocks for critters. But I knew this was an animal because it was moving. It was too tall to be an alligator, too small to be a sandhill crane. And it was round. And kind of . . . fluffy.

And it was coming right for us. 

Remember back in October, I attempted that 5K, the one with the "zombies" that come after you? Well, based on what happened next, I'm pretty sure I would've done a lot better on the 5K if it were chickens that chased me. 

I turned and ran. I prayed I could move faster than a chicken. (Seriously, how am I supposed to know how fast a chicken can move? The only chicken I ever saw was in the grocery store.) Thankfully, I could and I did. And yes, I abandoned my poor husband, left him to duke it out with the chicken, but I knew he could handle himself. Besides, he caught up to me pretty quickly. I'd like to say he stayed behind to defend me from an attack, but I have a feeling he stayed behind so he could laugh hysterically without me seeing.  

Now, to prove I am not the only one with a justified fear of chickens, take a look at a great scene from The Big Bang Theory




*****

Are you frightened by any particular not-normally-considered-scary animal? Could you outrun them if you had to? How do you feel about isolated areas?

36 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

ROTFL! That was a good story! If you don't embed that in one of your novels, you'll be wasting a golden opportunity.

PS I'm pretty sure your hubby sacrificed himself to save you---that and to laugh hysterically.

:D Good to know you can outrun a chicken. In case it ever comes up again.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If I embedded this anecdote in one of my stories, you know I'd have to make it a zombie chicken, right? :)

My new goal is to be able to outrun whatever is the next speed up from a chicken.

Sarah Foster said...

LOL! That's too funny. I didn't know chickens could be so scary.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Neither did I! :)

Anonymous said...

My friend raises chickens, so this story made me crack up. I don't think I could outrun one. I don't have good stamina.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If you need the stamina, you'll dig deep and find it. Especially if you're being chased by zombies. Or chickens. Or zombie chickens.

The Cynical Sailor said...

That was very funny! Geese kind of unnerve me at times.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I feel the same about geese, too. The sandhill cranes don't make me nervous. Okay, maybe a little, but just because they're so big.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I grew up on a farm, Madeline, and the scariest critter we had was a big white and very mean rooster.

Once upon a time, I loved isolated places where I could walk or drive and not see other humans for hours. It's different these days. Now I worry who or what might be lurking around the next corner or just over the hill. There are rattlesnakes in this part of Colorado...and dogs off leash...and bad people too. And what if there's another one of those big white very mean roosters? I'm more cautious and less trusting than I used to be.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've heard roosters can be mean.

As much as I like the idea of peace and quiet, my mind won't let me relax if it's too isolated a place. I wish I could, though. My imagination is often my best friend AND worst enemy.

emaginette said...

When I was little I had the unfortunate experience of being chased by a rooster. It was as big as I was and fast as lightning. The only thing that saved me was a neighbor. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yikes! Thank goodness for that neighbor.

Susan Kane said...

I am totally chickenphobic. Bad experience with a rooster when I was two. As I have aged, I cannot ever stand to eat fried chicken. If the piece is identifiable as a body part, I will gag.

Murees Dupè said...

Live chickens are scary. My grandfather had a big rooster that liked attacking you. I was a kid then, but to this day I'm afraid of a live chicken. They're unpredictable. I would probably run like my life depended on it, if something scared me too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Now that is interesting! Does that apply to all fowl, like turkeys? I'd probably run from a turkey also.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think part of it for me was context. If I was at a farm, I definitely would've been nervous but I'm not sure I would've run. Seeing this big chicken where I didn't expect to see one totally freaked me out.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I spent my childhood summers on my grandparents' farm and I agree with what Murees said above--chickens can be super aggressive. I thought they were adorable, but you didn't want to get on the wrong side of one, that's for sure.

I've had a phobia of worms forever...how dumb is that? It's not like they can hurt you. I had to get over it because I love gardening, but every now and then they still startle me.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I can totally see how worms would freak a person out. My Dad would always put the worm on my hook when we went fishing. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I watched my nephew get attacked by a duck for a piece of bread, so you're justified to fear the wild feathered critters.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've seen that kind of thing happen with seagulls. I think in those kinds of cases it's more about the food than about aggression/attack but I'm no expert.

Theresa Milstein said...

Ha! I'd run away from an alligator, for sure. Some of those seagulls are pretty aggressive. So are city squirrels. You know what, best to always be safe and run. ;)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Any alligators I've seen in the wild are usually far enough away from me that I'm not really worried. Squirrels, on the other hand, seem to be everywhere and don't seem to care at all that I'm walking by. Bold critters!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Ordinarily, I'm not particularly afraid of any animals, but there was this dog that lived down the street from me when I was a little girl. A poodle. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're imagining one of those cute little foo-foo things with pompom hair on its feet and tail. Oh no... au contraire. This was a standard poodle, and he was a huge beast. For some disgusting reason, that dog took a liking to me. It never bothered any of the other kids in the neighborhood, as far as I know, but when he saw me in the alley, he jumped the fence, and then jumped on me, with his front paws on my shoulders and his hind quarters pumping furiously. Still creeps me out to think about it. Yeah, the other kids thought it was hilarious. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I can totally see how that would be creepy to a little kid! Even if the dog didn't mean any harm, just the size of the animal compared to a child would be enough to freak someone out.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm not afraid of most animals, but do respect them. I had a dog bite me when I was 2 and I used to be afraid of black labs after that - I know, I know, black labs are normally gentle but I think that one had to be mixed with some other breed because he terrorized me and all the other kids in the neighborhood when my dog (german shepherd lab mix) wasn't around to protect us.
I did startle pretty bad one day when a newt slithered towards me in the grass and my mom let out a scream when she saw it (even after I had told her it was there).
Other than that, I can say that I don't have any desire to swim or be around sea lions, which sometimes come into the harbor area where my kids kayak and canoe. Sea lions are huge, territorial, and dangerous. We have a black bear that lives in this area, but I have only seen what it leaves behind and that's as close as I want to get to it. So, I don't know if I'm afraid or just respectful of creatures that are bigger and more aggressive than me.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Some animals look so interesting or cute - like hippos - but are really incredibly strong and can be scary. I think respecting all critters and creatures is the way to go.

Christine Rains said...

I respectfully keep my distance from anything that might charge at me! Chickens can get into foul (fowl?!) tempers, though.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think I'm going to adopt your attitude of keeping away from critters that can charge. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Tee-hee. That is funny. Many birds can get feisty...chickens, geese, swans. If any animal shows aggression, I'm scared. It could be a bunny. Though, I'm not usually scared of animals.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I remember a book from when I was a kid, a bunny turned into a vampire - Bunnicula, I think it was called. :)

Loni Townsend said...

Hahaha! This is wonderful! Not that you were chased by terrifying chickens, but that you were able to share it in a story and relate it back to zombies chasing you.

I'm used to a lot of farm animals myself. My brother raises pigs. And chickens. And rabbits. And ducks. I think I'd freak out if I saw a gator though. I don't see those in Idaho. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm glad my story of "fowl" play made you laugh, Loni. :)

And I think I'd freak, too, if I saw a gator out in the wilds of Idaho. :)

Nick Wilford said...

I guess that means zombie chickens would be the ultimate nightmare!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You know it!

Pam Lazos said...

Hilarious!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

:)