Growing up on Staten Island, the bird we saw most often was the common pigeon -- that amazing nuisance of a bird that tends to decorate statues, sidewalks and unknowing passers-by with it's droppings on a continual basis, and which many park goers love to feed in order to facilitate additional droppings. Ah, the never-ending circle of life, or poop in this case.
Fast-forward to the Ozarks, where the most ubiquitous bird in the region is the common chicken. Many folks in these parts keep a few chickens for the fresh eggs they provide in abundance and the occasional evening dinner of fresh chicken and dumplings.
Now I have always heard of the expression, "Running like a chicken with it's head cut off." However, I'd never actually seen a chicken running around without it's head and assumed that the phrase was a quaint saying made by country folk to describe us city folk, since we are endlessly bustling about with too many thoughts in our heads and no real direction. Imagine my surprise at finding out chickens actually can and do run, once they've had their heads lopped off. The term, "screaming like a little girl" was also placed into context, as I was absolutely flabbergasted at the sight and proceeded to express my dismay with the afore-mentioned scream -- which managed to just make the poor headless chicken run faster and my friend the farmer stare at me like I was an alien.
A few days later as I was driving home with the hubster, we saw a dead chicken in the road, surrounded by other chickens. Now, I took in this scene and saw a poor bird, cut down in the prime of life and surrounded by his friends who were mourning his passing. I turned to my husband and expressed my surprise that chickens could express such forlornment over their dead friend. To which, the Marine turned to me and said, "Well, it's either that or they're eating him." And that's how I found out that chickens are real live, practicing cannibals. To put it mildly -- Ewwww.
I'm amazed that no B-Movie director has ever made a horror film based on chickens gone wild - something to the effect of - It Clucked in the Night or Den of the Chicken Cannibals. Anyways, I have grown in my knowledge of the venerable chicken and although I will leave the beheading to the Marine, having fresh eggs and the occasional dinner of chicken and dumplings is definitely worth our setting up a chicken coop at our land - even if they are blood-thirsty cannibals.