Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Chicken Hearts
By Kenn Allan
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They met as pristine chicks;
Lucetta, a Rhode Island Red,
Camille, a hybrid mix.
Their differences were cast aside,
And friendship came to dwell;
It was as if before they hatched,
They’d shared a single shell.
Throughout their awkward capon years,
The bond between them grew,
Forsaking all who would divide,
And formed a flock of two.
At last, the age of nesting came;
They settled in to lay,
And screeched aloud an egging song,
Which kept raccoons away.
“Whither thou layest, I will lay,
May all our eggs be blessed,
And of the feathers I collect,
With thine I'll line my nest."
One dreadful day Lucetta gazed,
Forlorn between her hips,
The anguish clear upon her face,
Despite her lack of lips.
"Woe unto me!" came her lament,
"No eggs can I provide!
All older hens who can't produce,
Are fricasseed or fried!
"I'll never peck or scratch again,
Or ever cross the road,
Oh! where within me lies the strength,
To bear this heavy load?"
Camille heard poor Lucetta's sobs,
And hurried to her side,
She gathered her beneath a wing,
But found too much to hide.
"I'll find a way, my sister dear,
To cure this twist of fate,
I shan't allow a friend of mine,
To sizzle on a plate.
“This crisis o’er thy empty nest,
Has caught us unprepared,
But I thee pledge to never roost,
Until thy life is spared.”
Camille engaged her tiny brain,
For schemes it might impart,
But finding nothing useful there,
She searched within her heart.
In selfless love she hatched a plan,
To solve their desperate plight—
She’d lay Lucetta's eggs by day,
And lay her own by night.
She sacrificed the life she had,
To quell Lucetta's fears,
Hence both survived ‘till ninety-five
(That is, in poultry years).
With squawks and clucks their legend grew,
Retold with fervent zeal,
So o’er the years no hen forgot,
Lucetta and Camille.
And every morn the roosters sing,
Their story without end;
No greater love hath hens than this...
To lay one for a friend.
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