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Chicken ship

There’s been trouble in the old hen house. Someone complained to the ACLU (American Chicken Liberties Union) about the Buddhist prayer flags draped in a corner.
Like the much older and more renowned American Civil Liberties Union (also ACLU), both organizations are nonpartisan, non-profit. Both work through litigation, lobbying and community empowerment to achieve their mission: “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every chicken in this country by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.” Of course in the “civil” version, people are defended.
The prayer flags were a gift from Sabra’s sister. Each colorful pennant features a hand-painted portrait of a famous devout hen from history. In this contemplation corner or, as others call it, the chicken chapel, guests can reflect on age-old questions like, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Traditionally, the colorful pennants of cloth, on a string, are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Along with the colorful art, each contains a short prayer but the plea is not to a god, or gods, but to the people downwind (or hens below) as the threads unravel and spread good will.
Can’t go wrong with that.
So you’d think everyone could get along with this sweet sentiment, but no, there’s always got to be at least one biddy in the bunch.
Who actually made the call to the ACLU is unknown, but I suspect it was someone who read my recent column about the superb conditions in our hen house. In said column, I mentioned the flags and the chapel. A plainclothes investigator got appointed and, the next thing we knew, we were summoned to appear in court for a violation of the first amendment.
The one that guarantees freedoms concerning religion. It forbids government from promoting one religion over others or restricting an individual’s religious practices. Because our hen house takes in borders, it is considered to be a public place and the prayer flags must come down.
What did we do? Just what any other red-blooded litigation-loving American would do. We hired an attorney.
The United States has almost one lawyer per every 300 people. That’s three times as many as Britain, a nation some say is swarming with attorneys. Coincidentally, the U.S. also has more of its citizens in jail then even heavy-handed dictatorships. Could it be laws create lawbreakers? Are lawyers a necessary evil? How does a country like Japan get by with only about one for every 7,000 people?
But I digress.
Cockadoodleran’s defense centered on the difference between religious icons that happen to contain art, and art that happens to contain a religious sentiment. It’s impossible for me to explain all the nuances of the argument because I don’t really understand it myself, anymore than I understand supporters of Donald Trump. What, exactly, are they planning to do if their candidate is defeated? Stop paying taxes (assuming they pay taxes)? Mass demonstrations? Violence?
And I digress again.
When all the motions and countermotions were made, it was our attorney’s iconic closing argument that got the case dismissed.
The art of prayer
Or prayer of art
It’s all chicken s_ _ _
You must acquit..