Penny is finally ready to tell her story.
Maybe you could read it to your children tonight at bed time.
Education is the key to the future of change.
I guess from the moment I cracked that egg open. I knew I was a bit different. I was full of questions that never got answered.
I wanted to know what was outside the tiny coop we lived in. Barely able to move around. All hoping a spider or some sort of bug would climb in and we had something to chase and play with. Even for a moment….
But it just continued on. Doing the same thing day in. Day out. Time just dragged.
The only thing that changed. Were the shadows surrounding us.
I used to sit and stare out through the wire that held us away from the sun on our backs. At one point every day if I squeezed my head out I could feel its warmth. God it felt good. Almost healing.
How I dreamed of feeling the grass dance between my toes as the wind ruffled my feathers. To know what Spring smells like instead of the stench of our own existence.
I spent my days watching the little birds fly around and get lost in their freedom. My heart longed for the same. I didn’t want to be seen as just a hen who lays an egg.
I wanted the world to see we have personalities. We have moods like you. Happy and sad. We recognize each other and pick out our own friends from personalities.
We are just like dogs if you let us show you. We make wonderful pets and respond to affection. We can go for walks on a harness. All the while laying you an egg every morning to say thank you for loving us.
How could I show the world. I’d have to escape.
There and then I made my mind up. I would grow up big and strong. One day I would run out that door as it opened and fly high enough to clear that boundary wall and go in search of the end of the world on a brilliant adventure.
Each day I stared at my reflection in the water. My day was coming soon.
But all too sudden my hopes and dreams were ripped from me. He grabbed me as I screamed. He cut my feathers and my wings stung. I watched them fall to the ground before me. I cried out. Why? Just why? He just squelched through his own muddy existence as I heard the door slam shut of his own jail.
That night I cried myself to sleep. Not even my mum comforted me. I was to stop my nonsense or I’d end up in his pot.
The days blended into nights. Until one day on he came and I never heard the click.
It was now or never. I ran as fast as I could but I had no balance without my full wings.
It didn’t stop me nor every time I fell.
I made it to the rubbish pile and hid.
I heard the click. Then the bang.
He hadn’t noticed. I was free.
I watched my mum peeping out.
My heart broke knowing I’d never see her again. But she was programmed to be just a chicken. It was too late for her. Just too late.
For days I walked further and further away from the home I knew. The nights were cold without shelter and it was hard to find food but I was free. Not all other animals I welcomed were my friends. The swan I met mocked me because I couldn’t swim. Oh how she threw back her long neck and laughed.
At first this little furry long animal was nice until he tried to bite my neck but a dog came tearing up from the river and chased him off. Phew I thought, how lucky was that. He sat with me for a while and said he was rescued.
What’s that I asked? Not all humans are mean he explained. There is another breed called hooomans. They rescued me. You need to find them. How will I know when I find them?
Trust me. You will know as he ran off again as fast as I met him. Nose down tail up. Shouting stay away from the mink. What’s a mink?
Daft dog he was. Hooomans. No such thing.
By now I had got very thin. How I longed to eat the tasteless food of the farmer. Was my mum right? But I’d never find my way back now so on I went. I learned to stay out of sight as best I could. Until one day this man picked me up in his big strong hands. I was too weak to struggle. I just gave in. Oh please say he doesn’t own a pot.
What have I done….
He put me in a dark box as my heart thumped breaking the silence.
Her voice was happy and playful. Not like a voice I heard before. She scooped me up and stuck me inside her jacket. Rubbing my neck and saying your so lucky little one. How did you survive?
I think I’ll call you Penny. Cos you just kept on rolling. Brave little hen you are.
Could she be a hoooman that dog talked about?
Either way I liked her. She gave me yummy food and took me inside. Inside? Can you believe it. I met all her other animals and they welcomed me like family. All crazy and not what I expected but for once I was happy.
I’d never felt as much.
Everything was worth it. Everything.
She even gave me new wings.
She said they weren’t his to take.
I got my dignity back but I don’t want to fly away anymore.
So my thoughts to you all, are.
Never give up your dreams. Many will try and take them as they have no dreams of their own. Your past has got you ready for your future. You don’t need wings to fly.
The passion you have inside, will carry you there. You will know like me, when you get there. Enjoy your journey.
Love Penny xx
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