As it is the culture of most Nigerian homes to dine with chicken during xmas period, well, ours weren’t different. My dad got two but the other was just a little lad of a chicken as we nurse hope of killing it on Easter. We killed the other and believe me, the taste was divine cause i cooked it myself. I could still perceive the tempting aroma as i write and with every gulp, i savour it.
Christmas was gone, everyone was back to business, but the spared little chicken remained. My little bro took it upon himself to care for it, for her every food and water. It was like a pet to him and i wasted no time to name her, Chicky.
Chicky was growing pretty fast and fatty, it was like there were some magic properties in her feed, my little bro was over feeding her so the effects were inevitable. However, Chicky was behaving more like a pet than a creature that will soon met the end, she forgot that her existence was to make meals tasty. How could she forget the one thing that awaits every fowl, the very essence of being a fowl? How could she? As i watch from a distance, she appeared settled and comfortable. She always trundle around with majestic steps, chest out as if overwhelmed by ego. She knows everyone by footsteps and sounds and as long as you’re serving her, pouring huge amount of chicken feed in her pans, you’re her friend.
The most puzzling aspect is something i can’t rap my finger on. Whenever i grab a bread, she will always run in an attempt to take a share. How she know and the manner she comes never cease to amaze me. Unlike most fowls, you can pat her at the back and she will remain still without moving an inch. She was quite an adorable creature, but her fate was inescapable.
Months pass, she was getting bigger and the bond that exist, stronger. We’ll laugh at her funny behaviour, play with her feed and sometimes, trick her around with breads. Chicky was lively and every moments with her were adorable. She was the only creature in the compound apart from we, so she felt like a queen.
“We’ll kill that chicken this Sunday.” I overheard my dad telling my grandma and instantly, my heart sunk beneath my being. How? Why should we kill her? I felt a moisture, building up around my eyes and i hated myself for it. My little bro was in the kitchen, washing some plates and unaware of the fate that has befalls the only friend he feels so drawn to. His expression was that of ignorance as i wept with hurt.
Sunday morning! I don’t know but my awakening was due to a bang at my window. “Henry, get up and get ready to kill that chicken.” Ooohhhh no..! Why would i be the one to kill it? Why would my own hands decide the fate of that innocent fat creature? I dare not talk. I’m a man for christ sake. I’m in my late teens so i dare not say such a thing. I dare not exhibit weakness or my dad will see me as a potential failure in life.
I woke up with a heaviness i never knew existed. My heart was beating so hard against my chest and it ache. It hurts so much. The sky was cloudy, making the setting more calm but uncertain. Without a word, without looking at faces, i went to the kitchen and i wept momentarily. I wept for Chicky. Ohhhh, she will be no more by my hands. My own very hands that once cared for her.
With sadness, I grabbed a knife with a new resolution. Lemme get done with this. The earlier, the better. I have to move on. I hastily took Chicky and as if by divine lamination, she knew the fate that awaits her as she struggle to live. Her struggle for life, to survive made rolls of tears run down my cheek. [/]But i had to hearten my heart and get over this madness. [/] Something in me was saying these words and i agree. I had to get over this!
I laid Chicky on the ground, her two legs held firmly to the ground by my legs as i slice the knife through her throat. She jerked. Jerked again…jerking forth warm blood that screams at my soul. My hands were still in motion, in blood, slicing.. to end her pain, to send her to her abode