Monday, September 07, 2009

This little chick.


With Libbie's enthusiastic help, this little chick nearly met his maker this morning. He was a perfectly happy and healthy little chick (well, if you don't count the fact that some crazy Mexican dyed him yellow and stuffed him in a dry aquarium with fifty other brightly dyed chicks to sell at market)...until Libbie showed up. And Libbie was on-leash, thankyouverymuch. Not that it made a difference.

We arrived at school right on time today but, in true Mexican fashion, the school secretary who doubles as keeper of the gate, was not on time. Since she wasn't there, I broke the unwritten rule which states that "parents shall not pass beyond this gate to drop off or pick up their children" so that I could escort Callie to her classroom. Yeah, the classroom that is but fifteen feet from the gate. But Callie always wants me to walk her there and rarely will she go it alone without a fuss. I avoid fusses with Callie. I am weak. But this is not about Callie or me, it is about the chick.

The cute little yellow chick was perched in a planter next to the gate, happily tweeting away and pecking at the dirt. I did not know that he was there. But as we walked into the schoolyard, Libbie noticed him immediately and jumped up on the planter and snapped at the little chick. The little chick survived this brush unscathed. I grabbed Libbie's collar and downed her next to the planter so I could see the cute little chick. Because I am a sucker for animals! But I got distracted! I turned to talk with Callie's teacher and was not vigilantly protecting the life of the cute little chick when Libbie jumped up again and this time knocked the little chick off of his perch. And possibly bit him in the head.

The little chick flailed on the ground, lying on his back with his wings beating wildly. Blood started to seep out his nose and beak. It was a sad sight. As I fought the urge to kick Libbie ten times in the head, I grabbed the little chick in my hands and listened to the crowd of preschoolers scream as the chick's head drooped to the side. It was not looking good.

"He's dead! You're going to throw him in the garbage can!" screamed one little boy. "No, no, no, really, he's not dead...yet," I replied.

"BLAAAAAAAH!!!" cried a particularly disturbed little girl. Not my little girl, mind you, who didn't seem the least bit surprised that her dog had maimed and possibly killed her school's little mascot.

The teacher motioned toward the gate and asked quietly, "Will you take the chick with you?"

"Um, yeah. I'm REALLY really sorry about this," I muttered through a scrunched face.

On my way out the gate, I actually did kick Libbie. And I'm still not sorry for it.

Scott held Libbie's leash while I cradled the bludgeoned bird and we walked home. We both fully expected that I would be heading up to the market to buy a new dyed-yellow chick to replace this one. As we made the turn onto our street, the bird fluttered a bit in my hands and made some weak peeping noises. I thought maybe it was that last burst of energy before death. But when we got home and made the bird comfortable in a cardboard box lined with pages torn out of a phone book, the bird started to improve. We put him upstairs, locked away from the danger of the creeping cats and the bloodthirsty dog and then we left.

We returned a few hours later, wondering whether the chick would be dead or alive and...tahdah! He was alive! And chirping.

And so it was that the preschool day ended in smiles, with the return of the bright yellow (now with a few streaks of red) chick.

2 comments:

Fulton said...

will this become a pet? or will he/she be released into the streets?

Hillary Dickman said...

Most likely a pet. Or possibly a contestant in a cock-fighting match.