There are two kinds of chicken: Normal chicken and abnormal chicken. In between there’s nothing or at least not much to talk about. This story however is about a chicken that is beyond abnormal or better ‘absurdormal’ and there’s a lot to say.
This particular chicken lived in India and she was unhappy. She felt out of place and misunderstood. The way she talked, dressed and shared her ideas about the world did not resonate with her sister-chicken. In fact, it gave her a kind of separate status, in other words: Nobody dared to talk to her anymore.
One day she was strolling through the field alone, when the wind blew a piece of paper in her face. When she shook the paper off she saw it was a fashion magazine from America. She was amazed with what she saw and immediately knew what she had to do: Go West, going to America.
She didn’t wait long and left (chickens just travel light, because there’s not much to bring along and besides, how can chicken carry things?). She started walking and left the ground she was born and raised on and stepped into the unknown. But the unknown didn’t stop her, how could it, it was just a metaphorical barrier, and she went on with clear goal: The horizon.
After a while she realized that the horizon was a pretty abstract concept and wasn’t sure this ‘landmark’ would bring her to America…. When she sat down the most amazing thing happened: The earth moved. For the chicken it was clear. It was a sign from above: she was moving in the right direction, while actually it was a sign from below. To be more precise, it was a mole getting rid of his dirt.
“Anyone there?” asked a small mole with a pink nose, “I thought I heard a kind of squeak, I hope I haven’t scared anyone? The thing is, I am as good as completely blind and as a result I bump into things.”
The chicken was too flabbergasted to speak sense. The only thing she’d seen come out of the ground were worms, so the most sensible thing for her to say was: “Hi, it’s me, the Indian chicken that wants to go to the west, to America”.
“America?” the mole replied, “Why on earth would you go to America? Getting halfway would take a lifetime and it’s not better then things are here. Besides, you’re going in the wrong direction!”
“I don’t care”, said the chicken, “nobody understands me here, I need to go away! To America. I need to go to a place where people understand me! I saw it in the magazine. Look at me, I am gorgeous, but nobody wants to see it!”
“Well, I am kind of blind as I told you” said the mole, “so I can’t see it either, but the way I sense your presence, you’re a beautiful creature. At the same time, listening to the words you say, I’d say it isn’t about them not understanding you, it’s about you not understanding them”.
“Say again?!” the chicken said. She was almost walking around like a headless chicken, and in this particular case, with the head still attached. The mole sensed her amazement and continued, “Yes, it is not about them, it’s about you. Think of it: It’s much easier to change yourself then to change the world, even when the world is the small field you have been livng on. The thing is, every one of them has created his own reality and they feel comfortable in it! Who are you to change it?”
“No!” the chicken replied, “I have to go West, and do not want to stay here in the East. I know for sure everybody will understand me in the West, it is there I belong. The only thing I need to figure out is where The West is and how long it takes me to get there.
Funny you mention it like that, because actually The West is nearer then you think.
“Is it?” said the chicken, “but just seconds ago you told me it takes a lifetime to get there! So please make up your mind before I go out of my mind!”
The mole looked at the chicken, but didn’t see her of course because he was practically blind and responded: “Well, the thing is The West is always next to The East. It is just a matter of how you look at it. And in your case, I think that might do the trick for you to be happy again”.
“Next to me?”
“What do you mean?”
“I really don’t understand it anymore” the chicken replied and almost fainted (of course a chicken brain isn’t that big and this overload of information that was countered by the double amount of questions, more or less made that steam came out of her ears, which in the case of a chicken are hard to find).
The mole intuitively knew the chicken almost went berserk and quickly said “Let me explain by telling you a story about a friend I have”, and he began:
The story within the story
“He was one of those fanatic runners (he was a rabbit), running every day and when you asked him what he loved about running, he said “I love running in nature, because nature takes out all the negative things I have inside, and afterwards I feel refreshed and reborn!”
But then he broke is paw and wasn’t able to run, even after it had healed he wasn’t able to run anymore so stayed inside his rabbit hole and became depressed. He couldn’t run anymore, so the negativity build-up inside him and wasn’t released while running in nature, even his fur turned grey.
At one point I ‘accidentally’ dug a tunnel into his hole and I saw him sitting there. Depressed, down, out of shape and looking 12 years older, so I reminded him that he could also stroll through nature, without running.
He looked at me for a second and realised he’d been a fool for a long time! “Yes” he said, “of course! How could I be so stupid! It is not about the running, it is about the nature and it doesn’t matter how I experience nature I just need to experience it!”.
And after that he went out (and really needed to get used to the light, because he was so much used to the darkness of his hole), so after a few stiff blinkers with his eyes, he started walking slowly and realized how great the trees were and how green the grass and how good nature was in absorbing negativity. Almost instantly he felt happy and never lost that feeling again. I asked him afterwards: “What did you learn that day?” He said: “Every time I feel depressed, I turn around, take a step back and think about the situation from the other way. By doing that I create a new perspective, which gives me so much energy! I realize everything that happens, is just the way I see it, experience it and interpret it. In fact, other rabbits gave me a new name ‘Grabbit’. Grab life the way you want”.
“Good” I said “and just hearing to those words makes me happy”
Less steam came out of her hard to find ears when she said “OK, but how does that apply to me?”
“Well” the mole answered, “It’s like I said, it isn’t about them not understanding you, it’s about you not understanding them. Maybe instead of trying to change them, it is better to understand that your judgement is based on what is happening inside you. It’s this what creates the negative perspective. Therefor, in my humble opinion, is easier to accept that you are ‘weird’ and enjoy it”.
The chicken looked like a sheep, but didn’t seem to be running away anywhere soon, so the mole continued: “It’s like doing the opposite of your first impulse. That small moment is exactly when you can change perspective from East to West (or the other way around of course, or north to south, whatever feels good at that time). And instead of reacting defensive, react open heartedly, instead of panic see the challenge, instead of angry, react with a smile, just try it and you’ll see, live gets easier and much more delightful.
A lot of things were going on in the little chicken brain, but none of them were about traveling soon or changing wardrobe, most of it was preoccupied with not tipping over and processing the word of the mole. Suddenly she heard a series of clicks went on in the tiny chicken head, so loud, even the mole could hear it and he was practically blind, then she said: “I see your point, I never looked at it like that”.
The mole smiled and said “good to hear and by the way… the direction you travelled when I bumped in to you wasn’t west. It was east. The way back to your field is…west.”
The moral of this story should be pretty clear, I hope and is about changing perspective. The funny thing is that we’re so caught up in habits and impulse that we forget that maybe the source of change lies within ourselves. Even the realization of this fact will have dramatic effects on any outcome. Take the time to realize.
It reminds me of a nice quote I once read:
“To cause an avalanche you can shake the mountain or find the right place to drop a snowflake”
You’re that snowflake; find the right place.
The Indian Chicken and the practically Blind Mole is part of The World Of Beat collection.