When coming back from a trip to Muzuzu, my comrades said, “I say, Teneil? Could you mind maybe, if we could just stop for a little bit, in the town just here? We was thinking that we could maybe get some relish, it’s really very inexpensive, up just here.” Relish is the term used for anything that goes on the side of the national dish Nsima (corn flour and water boiled together) usually Relish is a term for pumpkin greens, tomato, mustard greens… but this day, it was a term stretched. They were concerned about how I would react to handling a live chicken. 😀
“ME ME ME ! I PICK MINE FIRST!!!” , I yelp, mouth already watering at the 6 month old fat white chickens…
I quick prayer, “Lord? Would you help me to not make a fool of myself? Would you help me? Would you pick a chicken for me?” Instantly I heard, “yes, I have a chicken just for you!”
We all stepped into the chicken coop. “Go, get your chicken!”, they taunted. I stopped and looked at them, “God told me that there is a chicken in here for me. I can prove it, watch.”
I looked around and my eyes fell on whom we now call, Chicken. I looked at chicken and took a step forward. “That’s him”, I told my friends. I calmly walked over bent down and scooped him up in my arms like a puppy. Chicken didn’t make a sound, didn’t bat a wing. The others were quiet as I took Chicken out of the cage. Then a burst of laughter and feathers flying as they nabbed their own dinners! Later on when I got a moment to sit down and review the work from the day and prepare for the next, I was greeted with a warm ball of feathers on top of my feet. “To tired to dress a live chicken tonight”, I smiled and made some noodles…
The next day when the guys came for work and found the chicken alive, they laughed and said, “oh?! It’s alive!? You gonna keep it?!”
“No. I was just tired last night. I will eat Fred tonight.” I lied
“Fred?!? You name the chicken?!! Teneil, you need understands, these chickens they only live maybe 2 or 3 days. I’m telling you, you got to have while it is still good, after three days they don’t taste so good.”
Hummmm that sounds like the perfect excuse to save Fred! “Ha!” I exclaimed, “that’s ridiculous! Of course I can keep this chicken alive!”
“No… no… I’m telling you, you cant. This chickens going to be dead. 2-3 days tops.”
The next day, I found myself with a starving chicken… no matter what I offered… Tomatos? Cheap noodles? Corn? Nothing. Early in the morning chicken was weakly purring on my feet as I drank coffee and contemplated the situation. Chicken was going to die the next day, I had been warned. It’s my fault. When I took on Fred, I sentenced this poor creature to a slow painful meaningless death… “God what can I do? I know you didn’t give this chicken just for me to kill slowly with my own stubbornness!”
I had an idea!!! I started flipping over bricks in the yard (random bricks are everywhere here.) The bird lost its mind!!! After about 40 minutes Fred hopped on my lap and in a chicken way (that only chicken owners will understand) Fred whispered “M’Names, Chicken”.
Later on God hit me with an incredible revelation. I was watching chicken frantically hunt for the first time alone in the yard, eating 90% small rocks, and feeling sorry for this little pet. It’s not his fault no one ever taught him he could eat bugs. Then God’s beautiful whisper came to my heart. This chicken was living the high life. All the grain, and fresh water any chicken could ever want, heat lamps, lots of friends. Then God rescued chicken and chicken starved for 2 days, limped out of death eating worms and slugs, is alone, has 2 puppy’s that think chicken is a squeak toy… if you asked Chicken, did God rescue you? Would chicken hesitate before saying, of course God is with me all the time in all things, ?
God pulled me from my plush lifestyle with all my warm cozy chicken friends. He saved me, it’s a hard walk but I guarantee THIS Chicken is going to have the best life of all the chickens, because THIS chicken knows she was rescued!
…I just noticed that may sound insulting to my chicken friends, mostly I’m challenging you to come eat some bugs with your chicken sister.