Wednesday, October 06, 2004

the chicken story, part 1

I have a story. It is a tale about war, hatred and..........love. It is a simple story about the lives of a few chickens, and nothing more.

Somewhere on this planet, there is a place inhabited by millions and millions of chickens. It is not simply any place as you would imagine it to be. It is a vast continent, if you may, consisting of many many islands and a vast plain. Huge, in other words.

In this place, the chickens are divided into various villages. The village lines were drawn many moons ago, even before I was born, sometimes in ink, sometimes in blood. Those were troubled times as some villages tried to expand their bounderies beyond their own. Loyalty to your own village was something that was taught to young chicks in school.

However, in some villages, civil rivalry is a more thriving problem. You see, even though the chickens belong to the same village, they also belong to different clans within the same village. Some clans are hardworking and richer than the others and are often said to be unscrupulous in business while some clans are often said to be lazy in nature. It is not really justifiable as it is a stereotype but that's just the way of the Chicken World.

One such village facing this problem is the Village of 3 Doves. The village chief and the chicken elders have a huge problem in keeping the other chickens peaceful. Although this village paints a beautiful picture to the rest of the surrounding villages, clan lines are drawn thick and black in the rules and norm of the chicken community.

For example, inter-clan marriages are not unusual, but are certainly frowned upon especially by the older chickens, whether the chickens like to believe it or not. Even the young chicks show signs of clan loyalty at a very young age. The Chief of the Village of 3 Doves does in fact acknowledge this problem, but nothing could really be done. Not something immediate that is. Chickens are a stubborn breed of living creatures and hence the complexity of the situation.

Such is the fragility of the situation that the Chief and the Village Elders were forced to ban chickens from even talking about the other clan. Say anything bad about a chicken of the other clan and the offending chicken would be fried and fed to the humans. A capital punishment indeed.

In an ideal chicken world, there shouldn't even be a problem. But you see, in the Village of 3 Doves, such is the immaturity of the chickens that a simple critisism of any clan cannot be tolerated. Reculcitrant behaviour indeed. Such is the paranoia that simple comments by one chicken, just ONE chicken is powerful enough to make the Chief and the Village Elders fearful that a full fledged war would tear apart the Village of 3 Doves.

Of course, their fears are not without seed. Such a war has happened before, many many moons ago, and it is based upon the fear of a similar war that such a paranoia creeps in. Unfair as it is, but chickens in the Village of 3 Doves are not entitled to the luxury of freedom of speech simply because the Village Elders cannot afford to allow it. While in actual sense, there isn't anything wrong with freedom of speech, the Village Chief simply would not risk it.

Such is the severity that when just a few moons ago, a chicken was wrongly accused of blesphemous sayings, when his water pitcher was knocked over by a chicken of another clan. I must add here that chickens don't really like water, although it is necessary for their betterment. The water toppled over like a raging waterfall which then spilled over and wet other chickens from both clans. A small war erupted with members of each clan furiously defending their own and blaming the other.

It is peculiar then, that for chickens with such short tempers, the chickens of the Village of 3 Doves also have very short memory. In less than half a moon, when the waterfall had subsided its flow, and the torrential stream had seeped into the ground, all was calm once more. The chickens of the Village of 3 Doves got on with their lives again, pretending to love each other until the next war erupts.

It is indeed sad to say that some of the chickens do really love each other regardless of clan names, but in a war, a chicken is forced to take either side. Simply because a chicken without a side to support in a war is essentially a chicken who does not belong anywhere in peaceful times.

*Part 2 -- The Silent Wars of 3 Doves & 5 Seas.

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