Saturday, October 13, 2012



A number of years ago I was exploring the streets of Pearl City on the island of Oahu in Hawaii when I came across something I hadn’t seen before. Of course, in Hawaii you see many things that wouldn’t be imagined in wintry Manitoba. A couple of chickens were tethered in the front yard of a residence, strutting and scratching like chickens do. Naive as I was, I thought they were just pet birds. It never occurred to me that they might be fighting cocks. Thinking back on the flaming colors of their plumage, I imagine that’s exactly what they were.

Well that’s not unusual you know. Back when I was a kid, there was all kinds of chickens around within the city limits. Well what with wartime rationing, eggs was a good source of protein. Not only that, but the odd roast chicken on the table wasn’t at all a bad investment. You’d be surprised how much company one of them attracted.

That’s why I was so surprised at the item in the news yesterday that a woman was fighting for the right to keep a couple of chickens in her city yard. What? You now need to go to court to keep a couple of chickens? Can you imagine going into the law courts building with a handful of chicken defending lawyers looking for the chicken room?

“Which way to the chicken prosecutor?”

“Two doors down from homicide, on the left.”

I can’t even imagine a crown prosecutor who would like to be known as someone who might go after chickens for gawd sakes. What I’d like to know is who is the nincompoop who crafted this idiot bylaw. It must have been a slow day at City Hall. Jeez, if they want to go after dangerous birds, let them take on the majestic Canada Geese for leaving their many deposits all over the city as a show of disdain for the bylaws.

What I’d like to see is a complete reversal of the chicken bylaw to require people to keep chickens within city limits if they have the yard space, right along with vegetable gardens. In fact it should be a special requirement of food banks to do this. Chickens are after all the most benevolent friends of mankind. They give their eggs freely for us to enjoy. And when we hang them up by their feet to slit their throats, they just hang there quietly and let us do it. Did you ever see a cow do that, or a pig? Not on your life! And while we’re at it, we can get away from that miserable processing plant in Brooks Alberta that includes a dose of E. coli in its processing.

What’ll they think of next – banning children? No, I think city councilors should focus on fixing streets and cleaning sidewalks in winter rather than sticking their urban noses in things they know nothing about. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.


Just sayin’.

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