Episode 2: The Adventures of Closet Chicken

December 27, 2013


When we last left Closet Chicken, she had just been Superglued a second time. With a Band-Aid slapped across her naked little chest, she needed a safe place to sleep.

 Out of the Coop and Into the Closet

Darkness is the boon and bane of poultry. At night, they perch high, hoping to stay out of predators’ reach. They might coo in the dark, and certainly will squawk if attacked, but are otherwise pretty helpless. That’s just what I needed.

I found a box, just a bit bigger than Strip. I found my rattiest towel, for I had learned from raising ducklings that some things aren’t worth keeping. Towels used for lining duck and chicken boxes should be considered disposable. Just accept it. Your washing machine will thank you.

Shoving my husband’s shoes aside, I placed the box in the bottom of my closet. Strip nestled inside, and I closed the door. Problem solved, right? She’s in the dark. She won’t pick at her wound.

I didn’t consider my nightly ritual of reading in bed. Light peeked under the closet door, and Strip cooed at me, asking if she could please come out for a glass of water. So what would any sensible adult do when her chicken begs to stay up past her bedtime? I shut off my light and read with a candle, of course!

Strip spent nearly a week in seclusion, coming out four times a day to eat and drink. When the closet doors opened she cooed gently, stepped out of her box, and blinked at the bright shiny world. Then ate. Then drank. Then pooped a lot. And went back into her box.

Facebook Fame

 Strip the Closet Chicken became a week-long Internet sensation.

Ames Family Farm’s Facebook status read, “I’m reading by candlelight so I don’t disturb the chicken in my closet.”

Is it possible to hear crickets in the comments section of a Facebook status? Yes, for I heard them. Finally, my husband responded, “That is deep, deep innuendo.” Thanks, darling. I was trying to keep the Ames Family Farm page innuendo-free. Now everyone is thinking about chickens in closets. You just had to go there.

 The next day, I posted: “I walk into my room, singing a song, and the chicken in my closet warbles back her haunting memory.” 50 likes. 50??? Are warbling chickens that amusing?

 My friends all had glib responses to share:

  • “Remind me why you have a chicken locked up instead of a skeleton??”
  • “Chicken in the closet. Oh dear.”
  • “We had one in a dog crate…”
  • “Are you having chicken dinner tomorrow?”

My husband even pasted a few images together into a cartoon of my chicken hiding in the closet, with a bull cowering around the corner. (Get it? The bull was cowering?) Unfortunately, I cannot share the image because of copyright issues. But I promise, it was funny. Really, it was.

We soon got requests that we feature Closet Chicken on the next Ames Family Farm t-shirt. Each day, friends posted, asking about her welfare. And, of course, each post garnered the expected “come out of the closet” comments.

 When I posted, “My closet chicken is on the mend and only has a couple more days secluded,” the likes hit the double digits. Which is commendable for a post, because my followers had barely hit the double digits.

Will Strip ever come out of the closet? Will my husband forgive me after he finds his Sunday shoes? What kind of Band-Aids stick best to chickens? Tune in next week for the final installment of the Adventures of Closet Chicken!

I am a novelist and freelance writer with multiple works in progress. When I'm not writing, I come home from a daytime job to care for a husband, two teenage children, and an entire urban farm just a ...


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