Chicken Run

A Parable

It was an ordinary chicken house, with an ordinary roost, and ordinary troughs of food and water. The chickens were rather content in their cozy little house, as long as they received food and water daily.

Then one day a door opened in the side of the house…a few curious chickens began to peck at the dust in the doorway. Then one by one, they poked their heads out the door and for the first time, they viewed the wide world beyond their little chicken house. Curiously they crept through the little door and into the yard. Fresh air, blue sky, and grass beneath their feet! It was amazing! The chicken house suddenly seemed so ordinary compared to this bright new world.

With great relish the chickens explored their new yard, pecking at the ground and devouring cabbage leaves that lay in the grass. They spent a glorious day enjoying the outdoors. But as evening approached they began to flit about nervously. It was getting cold. The chickens were tired. They wanted dinner and their cozy roost. But no one could find the door to the chicken house. They wondered around the yard, perplexed.

Presently the farmer’s daughter came to the door of the yard. The chickens didn’t know her and they were immediately frightened. What might she do to them, out here exposed, and in the open. Before they knew what was happening, several chickens had disappeared. The girl picked some up and rushed away with them. The remaining chickens began to cluck in fear and despair. They ran every which way. But the girl gave chase. She was relentless. Sometimes she called to them, sometimes she didn’t speak at all. Their fear mounted. At last only one chicken had evaded capture. With waning energy he rushed to the far corner of the yard and began to burrow down under the fence. But there wasn’t time, and he couldn’t escape. Instead, he stuck his head in the little hole, glancing furtively at the girl, hoping she might not see him. But alas, he could feel her hands lifting him, and he was being carried away! By now he was too worn out to struggle, although his heart still beat wildly.

Then she was placing him gently in the confines of his own chicken house, and there was food in the trough and water in his bin, and a wonderful roost to sleep on! Suddenly the chicken house was a glorious place, a safe place, a comforting place. And he couldn’t remember any longer what had made him so fearful.

Anyone feel like a chicken today? I know I do more days than not.

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