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By 8:42 AM , , , ,

I never thought I would pet a chicken, but I did last Monday.

Everybody, meet Ethel.

Ethel is a rescue chicken that I met at my friend's house. Only in San Francisco, you say. Perhaps so. Anyway, Ethel was attacked by a dog at her previous home. While her life was spared, both of her eyes were not. She's blind and convalescing atop a cat tree. You know, one of those carpeted monstrosities that cats like to climb when they're feeling frisky.
carpeted monstrosity
Ethel will likely spend the rest of her days on the third level of said cat tree.

Ethel is a puffy blond bird. She's very soft and sweet. Sweeter than I ever imagined a chicken to be. I kinda fell in love with Ethel instantly. Maybe because she doesn't have those beady eyes of disdain. Her eyelids remind me a little of Andrea Bocelli.
Andrea Bocelli, a songbird of another feather.
I approached Ethel gently, because she's had bad luck with sudden contact. I used to be scared of touching birds, but something about her demeanor was inviting. Because chickens can't fly, that sudden explosion of dust that you get when pigeons take flight at the park, is not a factor. She jumped at first. As she tried to gain her footing, I eased my hand over her cream colored feathers. When she realized I was friend, not foe, she sat back down on her towel and let me calm her nerves. She was smooth, cool and delicate. I was petting a chicken and I liked it.

She stays contained on her perch; she sleeps, poops and does everything else in her carpeted oval den. It's a miracle she doesn't take a tumble to the ground every time she moves. I would. Lancy says she lays an egg every now and again. She's had a traumatic life, but now I think she is the luckiest bird in town. Lancy's a bigger sucker for animals than I am. If I were a blind, menopausal hen, I'd hail the first cab to her house, no doubt.

Aside from Ethel, this household has dogs and cats, a school of tropical fish and twenty, yes, that's two, zero, other chickens running around in the yard; and they all live together in perfect harmony. Even though the other pets leave her alone, it's a high-traffic home, so I think she's safest up there. Have I mentioned we're still in San Francisco city proper, not Oklahoma.

I may never look at another plate of fried chicken the same way now that I met Ethel. But that's OK.

Every now and then, you make a friend that will turn your world on its head.

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  1. omg. i love ethel and her andrea bocelli eyelids! i've never met her, but i can tell she's just the sweetest little thing. i'm sure she appreciates the security that carpeted perch brings her.

    1. She's also immaculate, which is tough, when you sleep near your poo. Her ivory tower is situated next to the staircase, so you can say "hello" at mutual eye level every time you use the stairs. I've learned that even carpeted monstrosities have a time and place.

      You must meet her one day. You'll just want to squeeze her.