Long Days and Short Years

just trying to pay attention so I don't miss my life


Beware of White People with Chickens

Yes, I know what some of you are thinking.

“I am a white person, and I don’t have any chickens.  None of the white people I know have any chickens.  I even used to have a Latino co-worker and her parents had chickens.  Isn’t the linking of skin color and poultry ownership just a stereotype created by an impertinent blog-writer in order to get people to click on her post?”

No, people, no.

This is a scientific statement, and I stand by it.  I will now present my evidence.  On my very own street, which happens to be 5 blocks long, there are a total of 30 people of predominately European-American heritage.  30 white people out of like hundreds of people total.  Now.  TWENTY-THREE of these people are chicken owners.  Twenty-three out of thirty, that’s SEVENTY-SEVEN PERCENT.

(I figured out that percentage all by myself.)

Even accounting for the fact that thirteen of these poultry proprietors are under the age of eighteen, there is still a trend in our midst, and I feel that it is my duty to present this warning.  White people who live in predominately African-American neighborhoods are sometimes regarded as harbingers of gentrification, conquering houses and then blocks one L.L.Bean catalog at a time.

But oh no, none of my Caucasian neighbors can afford L.L.Bean.

We are not the wealthy.

We are the wanna-bes.

We are the wanna-be farmers who also wanna walking access to good Mexican food, Vietnamese soup, and locally-roasted coffee.  We are the wanna-be farmers who don’t really wanna a barn full of smelly animals, just a small coop of chickens-with-cute-names.  Wanna see their pictures on facebook?

We are the wanna-be farmers who wanna our children to be exposed to real agriculture and gain some good immunities to boot.  These are ideas we got from NPR and Michael Pollan books.  These are ideas we like to talk about over 5 dollar bottles of red wine or scones that we bought at the farmer’s market.

These are ideas that we will clean out a chicken coop for.

And so beware, my neighbors, my dear friends with more melanin that I.  Beware, because we are a bit naive.  We will order baby chicks in the mail because our parents wouldn’t let us have them for Easter when we were seven. We will coax them though their oh-too-brief chick-hood, but then they will grow up, and then they will escape every single day.  Multiple times.  We will chase them down your very own city streets.

(It is really a miracle that they haven’t been eaten by your pit-bulls.)

Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for your phone calls (“Um, Miss Jen, your chickens are out again”), your knocks at the door, your forbearance with the early-morning noise (they’re not roosters, but still…), and for feigning excitement when our children show you how they can catch them for the twelfth time.

I wish that we could give eggs to everyone on our block.

But the darn chickens keep hiding them in the bushes.