Oh yeah, he said, you just
Drop them right in.
Excellent exercise, swimming.
Good for the joints.

The surface of the pond
Was still and clear
Except for a single
Feather floating

But won’t they drown?

He smiled.
That’s what I’ve got
This pole here for,
To fish them out
After a good workout.

You see,
The tricky part isn’t
The swimming.
Those scrawny legs
Have a powerful kick.

The problem for chickens
Is getting wet.
Once those feathers
Start to gather water
It’s only a matter
Of time until
The weight pulls
Them under
For good.

Then why do you do it?

It was the chickens’ idea,
If you can believe it.

A few of them
Came out the coop
One morning and
Saw a duck sitting
Sitting on the pond.

The chickens thought,
I reckon I can
Do that.
Who was I
To tell them
They couldn’t?

They hopped right
In and headed
Straight for that duck.

Well. Wow.

Yeah, it was a
Wild duck.
Sat there watching
This clump of chickens
Coming right at it.

What happened when they met?

Those chickens were
Fast they got probably
About 5, 10 feet

The thing is
Chickens can swim
But they can’t fly.

That duck was
Like a superhero
To those chickens.

I put them back
In the coop to
Dry off.

Some of them were
Feeling pretty sorry
For themselves.
So I reminded them
At least they were
Tucked in with
Their friends.
That duck
Was flying all alone.

That’s a lovely point.

Well I thought so.
I just hope they don’t
Discover geese.

Note: For some unknown reason, in the earliest stages of waking up this morning I was visited by this phrase of chicken swimming, with the image of a farmer standing by a pond holding this large pole. I thought this was doomed to be a rather disturbing tragedy, but I was amazed to discover that chickens can in fact swim!

Photo by Dan Schneemann on Unsplash