Why do so many folks think it’s funny to ask, “Why’d the chicken cross the road?” Seems to me if one was inclined to pose a question regardin a chicken, there’d be better questions to ask. Of course, the best chicken question to ask, in my estimation, would be no chicken question at all. Some folks, and some horses, ask too many questions. So, why’d the chicken cross the road? Well, I reckon on account of that’s what chickens do sometimes.
Chickens do what chickens do, and horses do what horses do, and people do whatever it is people do, and dogs do what dogs do. Only, on the County Island, we got some dogs that don’t.
The first time I realized what they was doin, or not doin, I swung my head sideways so hard I danged near brained myself on the bucket gal’s saddle stirrup. We was in the wash that runs through the County Island, moseyin with no purpose, like we do. And I saw some kinda hairy big pet dogs lyin on a wood bench behind some kennel wire, but dogs don’t bother me none. And they kinda woofed, which also don’t bother me none. And then I saw some more tiny hairy dogs peckin at the dirt through the kennel wire at the edge of the wash, and then they kinda clucked. Chickens! And dogs. Sharin the same space. Like a goddamn, pardon my french, peaceable animal kingdom! And that was when I nearly knocked myself out to get another glance at ’em.
What was the County Island comin to? The bucket gal let me turn and face ’em, and I gave them dogs a long, hard, pinned-ear look that asked the only chicken-related question I ever intend to ask, and it wasn’t no joke: “What’s the hell’s the matter with you? Why don’tcha go eat a chicken like a proper dog?”
And the dogs just trotted over to the fence and the chickens, and wagged their tails. And the chickens clucked.
I swung my head at the chickens. “Why don’t y’all go cluck yourse—”
And one of the dogs gave me a woof of disapproval. Dogs defendin chickens?
I gave up, on account of I’m a horse who gives up easy when an argument ain’t his to win. Their bird-brained behavior wasn’t any of my business, anyhow. And, I got much better things to think about durin my trail rides than dogs and chickens, such as how long it is ’til my next feedin time, or bucket time.
But me and those hen-pecked hounds got a regular ritual now, by way of greetin each other each time I ride by. And I think we all kinda enjoy it in our own way.
They bark in my general direction and proclaim, “Horse, horse, horse!” Like “horse” is real important for a dog to yell all random-like, and sometimes downright half-heartedly.
And I swivel a ear or maybe scrunch up a nostril, and I indicate right back at ’em, “Eat a chicken!”
No offense to the chickens. I reckon it’s just what’s done to ‘em sometimes, in more normal places.