Advice for the Easter Season: No Baby Chicks!

Rubberneck 1Rubberneck 2repost for Easter:  Illustrations by Kathleen Swain

No little kid should ever be allowed a small, defenseless duck, chick, or bunny for a pet.  One of those four hundred pound tortoises would be a far better choice.  It could protect itself and the kid couldn’t pick it up.  Porcupines or crocodiles should be fine, too.  They could probably hold their own against a four year old.  Case in point, when I was four, Mother went to the farm supply store to get baby chicks to raise for the freezer.  They came in a brown cardboard box with air holes.  Naturally, I fell in love with the chicks and begged for one of my own.  Thinking I would quickly lose interest, Mother had one put in a paper bag just for me.

As I sat on the backseat of the car with my chick, I took it out and admired it, putting its tiny, fluffy body next to my cheek.  It was so sweet and smelled so chicky.  Mother made me put it back in the bag, saying it needed to rest.  Reluctantly, I set it to the side.  We stopped by another store and Mother let me get some gum.  Things were going great.  I usually never got two goodies in one day.  I chomped on my gum till my jaws were tired. As we headed home, Mother noticed I was getting sleepy.   She told me, “Don’t swallow that gum. Just wrap it in the gum wrapper and drop it in one of the grocery bags in the back next to you.”  I couldn’t find my gum wrapper, so I just dropped the wad of gum in the nearest bag, the one with the chick, and nodded off.

When we got home, I woke up and remembered my precious chickie.  I opened the bag and found the chick, gum in his fluff.  His tiny feet stuck to the bottom of the bag.  When I pulled him out, gum streamers stretched from the bag to his little feet.  I wailed in dismay.  Mother was disgusted and took the chick, cleaned the gum off the best she could, confiscated him and returned him to the troop of chicks as she had intended from the beginning. I wanted one of the fresh, clean chicks, but Mother said, “NO!!!!!!”  He suffered no real harm; just shared his gum with the other chicks till quite a few of them had combination chicken poop, dirt, and gummy fluff accessorized with tiny bits of biddy food.  The gummy little chicks stuck together when they touched and sometimes had to struggle a bit to get apart.  I was ashamed of him as he scurried around with his little biddy friends, the messiest of all.  However, in a few days, when all the chicks feathered out, I couldn’t tell him from the rest.  I was a little hurt he didn’t seem to have any special feelings for me, after all we’d been through together.

17 thoughts on “Advice for the Easter Season: No Baby Chicks!

  1. lorieb says:

    my dad always brought home either a few chicks or a bunny around Easter time. When it got too big for our yard (supposedly) he took it to my uncle’s farm to let it live with the other bunnies and chickens. Years ago I thought that was nice, now I know they ended up as dinner


  2. Wonderful story! As someone who raises chickens, I can commiserate. They are so cute when they’re fresh. But the freshness wears off after awhile, and what you end up with are big clucking birds that poop a lot and are socially awkward. Still, more enjoyable to watch than most TV programs. 🙂


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