When pigs fly, chickens swim

Published 12:42 am Saturday, July 20, 2013

It happened years ago, but I still chuckle about it. Back then, if someone had asked me if chickens could swim, I would have said no, definitely not. I knew without doubt that chicken feathers are not waterproof. I also knew that chickens do not have webbed feet. I had to see a chicken swim before I was convinced. And I did. It happened before my own eyes.

One morning while I buzzed around the house getting ready for work, I noticed our dachshund staring out the sun porch door. She was in a point. I took a second look to convince myself of what I saw—a rooster in the back yard.

“A chicken is in the back yard,” I told my husband. “A what?” he asked. “A chicken, a rooster, out there,” I answered, pointing. He nodded, “Oh, I guess Sam brought it.” Sam, his co-worker, owned egg houses and had lots of hens and quite a few roosters. Apparently, he drove by that morning, tossed the rooster over our fence, and drove away.

The dog wanted outside. The minute her feet hit the ground, a chase ensued. After my husband scolded the dog and herded her back inside, he told me the rooster was for our daughter. She said she wanted one so he passed the word on to Sam.

In a few minutes, he left for work. I found myself staring at that poor, scared rooster huddled against some bushes next to the fence. The dog bounced against the back door, barking and raring to get back outside. I directed her out the front door. She tore out to the back like something wild. When I finally got her inside, I was late to work.

I called our daughter who admitted she asked for the chicken without checking with her husband. She was afraid he wouldn’t be too pleased since they had a garden. I demanded she come get her chicken. “But how will I get it home in the car?” she pleaded.

During our lunch breaks, she rushed over to see the chicken. She broke the news to her husband by telephone. He did not want a chicken. She went outside with her daddy and the dog to see it, anyway. The dog shot across the back yard in pursuit of the rooster. It raced over to the swimming pool, jumped in, and hastily swam across it. My husband met it on the other side. So did the dachshund. My husband managed to prevent bloodshed between dog and fowl. That night he built a little pen for the rooster. It woke us up at daylight the next morning, crowing. We couldn’t keep the rooster. There was no way this was going to work out.

I heaved a sigh of relief when a friend took away our feathered visitor the next day. We didn’t need a repeat performance at the pool. We were convinced. That chicken could, and perhaps out of desperation, did swim.