In the old days, the UPS man would sometimes leave packages on our doorstep. Sometimes clients drop off stool specimens on the doorstep before we open. And then there are days like today, when we find abandoned pets on our doorstep. They might be tossed over the fence in our exercise yard, or tied to the front porch post. OR, they might be in a little cardboard box.
"Please care for little Foghorn, Junior. His father abandoned us and I can no longer give him the home that he deserves. I am a fallen woman and need your help and pity. God bless you. He is very attached to his little water dish and dirty paper towel."
Actually, that’s the note I would have written if I were abandoning my Easter chicken on someone’s doorstep. This guy didn’t have any paperwork… that is, no written paperwork.
I haven’t seen an abandoned Easter chicken in a long time. When I was a kid, there were two dime-stores [aka "variety stores": if you don’t know what I’m talking about, imagine a teeny-tiny Wal-Mart in one little store-front] on the Kennett square: Sterling’s and Ben Franklin’s. In the weeks before Easter, you could buy little chicks (and sometimes baby rabbits) that had been dyed all sorts of festive colors. There is nothing that commemorates the resurrection of Christ like a baby chicken dyed green. They were so cute, walking around, pecking each other in their ridiculously small table-top pen. My parents would never let us have one.
Other kids got them, though. Of course, they didn’t have a good place to keep a chicken and they didn’t know what to feed them. I don’t think many of them starved, because when they got put outside after a few days they were eaten by dogs and cats pretty quickly. There was one that managed to grow up in our neighborhood. I think it was originally Jimmy Scott’s, but it survived on the grain that our horse dropped. My brother’s dog, Lucky, would pull out its tail-feathers periodically, but it lasted for several years. Sometimes it would perch on the horse’s rump and ride around. (Sorry, no picture)
Little Foghorn, Junior has made his way to the farm of somebody who really likes having chickens around, and knows what to feed them, and has a good place for them. He was kind of cute, even if he wasn’t dyed green… pretty noisy, though.