January 16, 2005

Moby Chicken, pt 2

About a dozen of us had set out for the surrounding woodlands, in three Jeep Wranglers, in search of Moby Chicken. Frapple and Baja were in back seat of the lead truck while I was in the passenger seat of the middle truck. The others with us were various farm employees. Butchers, feeders, packers, drivers, etc. Habanero, a chicken feeder was driving our vehicle.

"Tell me more about Moby Chicken," I asked him as we wended along a path through a field that led us to the woods.

"'T'was about a year ago, just before you joined de farm, amigo," he began as he lit a cigarette with the dash lighter. "We had a cheeken dat we used to use for breeding. She was one of our top egg-layers and she gave us many healtty cheeks to raise. Sweat meat.
She grew to almost de size of a fawking turkey, I say truefully to you. So, we called her 'Moby Cheeken'."
Habbie paused for a moment to savor a long drag from the Marlboro menthol.

"Den, one day," he continued, "Moby Cheeken began to act strangely. She woold cackle all day and all night, ronning around de henhouse and de outside range area getting all de other cheekens in an oproar. Den she started to try to break down de fencing around de coups and de yards...
"I tried to catch her one day. Frapple wanted to haf her examined for a virus or someting. She pecked my right forearm good, do you see?"
He extended his right forearm out before me to show me the underside. It was dotted with scar tissue.
"I was de lucky one," he said, shaking his head.

"And, Baja?" I asked.

"Baja was more of a hands-on presidente back den, before dat day," Habbi said wistfully. "He was in de office in de farmhouse and heard de comotion and came ronning out. Frapple tried to stop him from getting near Moby Cheeken, but Baja was a big man. He tought he coold wrestle a crocodile, you know, and ween? Moby Chicken got him in de eye and finally escaped up de meadow and into de woods."

The lead truck was coming to a stop just up ahead. We were about 50 yards from the edge of the woods and came to a halt. Baja and Frapple stepped out of the truck and walked to our hood. There, Baja unfolded a large map and spread it onto the hood of our truck.

"We're here," Baja said to Frapple, pointing to a spot on the map. "The way I figure it, Moby Chicken will probably be up in this area somewhere." Baja was pointing to an area of the map that was close to it upper-right corner. We, in the truck, had no idea at the time where this place might be.

"Why there?" Frapple inquired of our excited and fearless one-eyed leader. Baja began pointing at different areas of the map as he explained:

"She wont be hiding over here, that's too close to the road. She wont go over in this area, it's low-lying and the aroma from the sewage plant lingers there. These areas along here are too close to the edges of the woods where fox urine would ward her off. Over here is too close to our butcher rooms, and up here is where the sheep farms are. She wont go near there for fear of wolves. No, Frapple, up in this hilly area over here is where we'll find Moby Chicken," he concluded, poking the spot with his finger.

Frapple turned away slowly with a concerned and puzzled look on his face.

"What's the matter, Frapple?" Baja asked, reaching out his hand. "Aren't you feeling all right?' Frappled turn to look Baja in the eye. Baja perked up. "Oh," he sighed, "You think I've gone wacky. Don't you?" Frapple stood silently. "I'm not wacky. I'm wackiness whacked."

"Moby Chicken is a dumb bird," Frapple protested. "It was acting strangely and attacked you out of thoughtless self-defense. We need to get our work done down at the farm, Baja. Why are we pursuing this crazy bird?"

"Because she dares me to find her, Frapple," he said intensely. "She dares me to come and get her and make her pay for what she's done to me."

"A dumb bird," Frapple repeated, "who doesn't make plans, or demand explanations, and with little more awareness of it's own existence than a fish."

"No, not this one, Frapple," Baja retorted, shaking his head. "This one is different. The chicken's likeness is a mask, to hide the soul of a fox. Now let's get moving; there are only so many hours of daylight left," he concluded. Frapple walked slowly as Baja folded up the map and hurried back to the truck.

Habanero and I looked at each other silently for a moment. The lead truck began to move. Habbi revved up the engine and into woods we followed.

[To be continued....]

Posted by Tuning Spork at January 16, 2005 06:13 PM

Don't make us wait, Spork!

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at January 17, 2005 02:19 PM

There are so many hours in the day! ;)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 17, 2005 10:05 PM
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