|The chicken's lament
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I was meant to be a prima ballerina, you know. From the time I was a round ball of yellow fluff, my mother had me up at the crack of dawn every morning. Still rubbing the dust of the hutch from my eyes, I would stumble into the garden and be en pointe seconds later as my teacher Mr. Koch crowed his first orders at me. "Stretch, Delilah, stretch!" he'd cry. "The long lines of your neck and leg, they must harmonize." My lesson lasted until lunch, when I'd collapse exhausted into my mother's feathery embrace. "My littlest Delilah, you're going to be the star of the stage," she'd whisper. Poor deluded Mama, surely she knew I was going to be a chicken.
Sometimes when my three sisters and I patrol the garden, pecking and clucking and squabbling over crumbs, I stop for a moment where no one can see me. I fold my wing modestly across my front - so! I extend my leg, which is still shapeliest among my sisters - so! And I turn my head to acknowledge the adulation of the audience as the roses fly through the air.