The Chicken

There once was a man named Ted. He was an old man who lived alone in a small house on the top of a large mountain in North Carolina. Ted had no friends or family so he was very lonely. To pass time, he started to grow vegetables, which included cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. He also grew grain to make bread for himself. One warm summer day, while Ted was picking weeds out of his large garden, he heard a strange sound. He looked up but didn’t see anything. He heard it again, this time behind him. He swung around to find a nice sized chicken eating his grain.
“Hey! Stop eating my grain you lousy chicken!” he yelled chasing it. He chased it all around his garden until he finally caught it.
“Ha! I got you! You’ll be sorry you ate my grain because I am going to eat you tomorrow for breakfast!” he yelled. He picked the chicken up and carried her to a small, ugly pen underneath his bedroom window. By this time, it was getting dark, so he decided to go to sleep.
Early the next morning, Ted awoke to a strange noise. He jumped out of bed and looked out the window. What he found surprised him. Next to the chicken was a brand new egg.
“Wow!” he exclaimed picking it up and admiring it, “This is great!” He started to think to himself. What if he fed the chicken more grain? Would it produce more eggs? He decided to give it a try. He fed the chicken one-cup of grain and began to walk back inside when he heard, “Why thank you, sir!”
He turned around, “Excuse me?”
“I thanked you for this wonderful grain,” the chicken answered.
Ted was astonished to learn that the chicken could speak. He had never heard of such a thing. He began conversing with the chicken and she told him her name was Polly. They quickly became friends and he decided to feed her a cup every night. Sure enough, Polly would lay an egg for him to eat for three days.
One day while he was eating his egg, Ted had another idea. He pondered on it and decided he was brilliant. He fed the chicken a cup of grain after breakfast and went on with his daily chores. He could not wait until the day ended. Slowly but surely, nightfall arrived. For the second time that day, he fed her a cup of grain. All night long, he dreamt of his idea. Since he fed her two cups of grain that day, she would produce two eggs for him. What a breakfast that would be!
At six o’clock the next morning, he jumped out of bed and ran to the window. Where he would usually find Polly and an extravagant egg, this time hoping for two, he found a piece of paper that read,” On strike!”
“On strike?” he asked out loud. Ted was completely dumbfounded. He couldn’t possibly think of why she would go on strike. He looked around and saw the chicken heading for the dirt road. He ran up to her. She looked noticeably larger than before. “Polly, why are you leaving?”
She stopped and turned to him, “Look at me sir! I look like a little piggy! I simply cannot stay here and get any bigger!”
“So, you will not make any more eggs for me?
“No, I will not,” she replied.
“Fine! I shall kill you then!” With that, he grabbed the chicken by the neck and killed her. Later that night, he prepared and ate the chicken for dinner leaving not one bite left. After eating Polly, he was satisfied. That would teach chickens to mess with him.
The next morning, a still full Ted woke up and looked out the window for his daily egg. When he looked in the pen, all he found was an ugly vacancy of hay. A single tear slipped down his cheek. He had no eggs, no chicken, no Polly, and most of all no friend.
From that day on, Ted rescued chickens in distress, kept them until they became healthy again, and found them safe homes where he knew their owners would not eat them. He then became known as, “The Chicken Man.”

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