Cluck of the Week: Therapy

There once was a chicken named Here's Your One Chance Fancy Don't Let Me Down who lived a quiet life in a small city in the South.

Fancy had suffered many horrors, from watching her first flock get decimated by a nocturnal predator to fighting for her life as a hawk sunk its talons into her hind end and tried to force her through a narrow opening in the fence surrounding her yard. Yes, Fancy knew fear and pain and suffering.

But she also knew healing and sanctuary. Therefore, it was no surprise to anyone when Fancy met J and struck up a fast friendship.

J, a boy whose own family didn't much care for him and whose daily life consisted of struggle and frustration. Fancy didn't care that J flapped his noodle-thin arms like a bird while chasing her through the yard or that his voice came out like a squawk or not at all.

Fancy looked past what everyone else saw: the wide-set eyes, jutting jaw, fused joints, and humped back. The developmental delays and oppositional behavior. The screeching and thrashing when things went wrong. She looked at J and saw: joy, fascination, and perpetual childhood.

And so the two sat face-to-face on a rainy summer day. J stretched his hand out, offering Fancy what he rarely offered anyone else: food, trust, friendship. She lowered her head, accepting and returning the faith he had in her. After she ate, they played one last game of chase before J had to return home.

Never let it be said that loving a chicken is foreign. For people like J, a chicken is more than a dirty bird that mucks around in its own filth. No, that chicken is therapy itself.


  • Photina

    Very well said! They are great for those who love them. Our girls are great therapy for my daughter.

  • TKW

    You made me cry, dammit.

  • Kelly

    My sister has been hired to work with J this summer. She told me she hasn't seen him as happy as he was when he met Fancy. I have a feeling they'll be spending a lot of time here.

  • Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri

    This is just lovely. Hope J and Fancy have many more days together.

  • Cheryl

    So much love for this post, Kelly, not to mention what you are providing this child!

  • Hyacynth

    :)<--- my face after reading this. Seriously, love what she's doing for him -- both F and your sister

  • {Stephanie}The Drama Mama

    Oh this is such a beautiful post. Go Fancy!!

  • Cathy

    So nice to read this post. Thanks for the big smile this morning.

  • The Mommy Mambo

    :) Long time no speak! How are things for you this summer? Hope all is well with you and your chicks!

  • Stacia

    Oh, that Fancy! She's a special, special girl.

  • Kristen @ Motherese

    This is really lovely, Kelly, and a terrific reminder of the amazing connections we can have with animals (so writes the woman who is generally scared of them...).

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