Thursday, February 19, 2009
MY ENCOUNTER WITH THE MYSTIC CHICKEN
Through the centuries, many of us have grappled with life’s biggest mysteries: Is there a Nog? What is the meaning of life? Why can’t Jennifer Aniston settle down and marry a nice boy?
It is precisely this kind of truth seeking that prompted me to search for the wisest, holiest, most philosophicalest visionary the world has ever known. I am speaking, of course, about the Mystic Chicken.
I remember the stories about the Mystic Chicken my mother told me when I was a little peep and still snuggled safely under my mother’s tuches. Whenever we had questions (“Mom, how come eggs aren’t round?” or “Mom, why do people
eat us?”), my patient mother would get misty-eyed, look to the heavens, sigh, and say simply, “Go ask the Mystic Chicken.”
Sometimes she would yell this loudly, he feathers flying hither and thither, to and fro, heckyl and jeckyll, wings akimbo. She even looked a little annoyed. Some of the other peeps said she was just fed up with my incessant questions, but I knew the truth: To seek the answers to my probing, intellectual questions, I must find the Mystic Chicken.
The Holy One sits day and night, cross-legged in his nest, high up in the barn rafters. There is no telling how he got up there, for although chickens have wings, they cannot fly. Hmm, I always wondered about that; maybe that can be one of my questions for the Mystic Chicken!
Reaching the top rafter was my first Herculean labor. It would probably take me months, perhaps even years to overcome this obstacle. But I was determined, and time was not a factor. Even if I turned old and putrid, I would meet the Mystic Chicken if it took my last dying cluck.
Fifteen minutes later, I finally made it to the top rafter, after enlisting the help of a local sherpa. And there sat the Wise One in all his glory, just as I envisioned him over these many years: gray feathers, a serene smile on his beak, a copy of the ancient Chinese life manual, the “I Chick,” at his wizened, flaky feet.
“Master,” I managed to cluck, “I have traveled all of these fifteen minutes, and through much hay and feces, to seek your guidance.”
The mystic one gently glanced up at me. “Yes, my son.”
“I must know: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
He stared far off into space for what seemed like sixty minutes, but it was only an hour. “To answer that, I must first ask you a question.”
“What is the sound of one wing flapping?” He divinely beady eyes were looking right through me.
“Well, Master, I suppose it would sound like, um, wind resistance?”
He laughed knowingly. “And why did the chicken cross the road, my yellow one?”
“Um, I guess so he could get to the other side?”
Another dismissive laugh. “You are very young, my son, and your small brain will soon molt. Tell me lad, if a rooster crows alone in the coop, does he make a sound?”
“I don’t see why not. With all due respect, Wise One, could you please return to my original query?”
“Oh, so now we use the word ‘query’! ‘Question’ isn’t good enough for you? Very well, my young cluck, what was your query again?”
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I repeated.
“I shan’t waste my time with such drivel. Obviously, the egg came first, or there would be no chicken.”
“But, wise one, wouldn’t there first need to be a chicken to lay said egg to begin with?”
At this moment, a miraculous thing happened. The Mystic Chicken got another faraway look in his eyes. I believe he suddenly got the calling to meditate. After lowering himself to speak at such a low level to me, he needed to return to the higher plane in which he usually resides.
I soon found myself in mid-air, for I had fallen off the top rafter. For a minute it looked like the Mystic Chicken’s leg had shot out and possibly knocked me off the rafter, but I knew that couldn’t be possible, for he was already deeply meditating and repeating his “yolk” mantra.
I guess I just wasn’t ready yet to interact with such a supreme being, so I returned to my mother’s tuches and spent the rest of the afternoon contemplating my pecker.