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Why, indeed, did the chicken cross the road?

“OK, troops, listen up. The suns peekin’ up! Big morning!”

“But Captain Red, every morning is a big morning. Can’t we sleep in just once? We’re always workin’ before the sun gets up!”

“Sleep in! Sleep in?! Reggie, are you crazy! These people depend on us! Trust me, they love our early morning wake up calls.! Especially the tourists. They’re crazy about Kauai, it’s paradise and they’re not into sleepin’ it away. They don’t stay up late and party. They come here to rise at the crack of dawn and hit the beach. It’s not a coincidence that breakfast, beach and bikini all start with ‘B.’”

“Captain, I really don’t think the tourists like the crowing. Two days ago, a guy in 24A came out with a broom lookin’ for me. I know he was!”

“All part of the job.”

“Yes, but he was swinging and swearing and tellin’ me to shut up! I almost had to fly to get away. I hardly ever fly. Scares me. And there’s been worse than that. I heard that Ronnie, down in Hanalei, was taken into custody for interrogation and they may be grilling him today.”

“Yeah, I know, there’re a few lazy visitors that don’t understand Kauai. But, we can’t let those slackers get in the way of us doing our morning jobs. Remember Reggie, and this is important, the reason there are so many of us chickens here is no mystery. We’re here to eventually dominate the island. Take it over. And until the time is right, we just need to do what comes natural.”

“Getting’ up early and yelling doesn’t come natural to me.”

“You’re one strange bird. You know, your family has been at this for generations and hardly any of them have been injured or eaten.”

“Yes, but …”

“Well, then maybe I should talk to the General and have you transferred.”

“Transferred? Where? To do what?”

“It’s more dangerous, but I know it’s exciting … well, sort of.”

“Oh, you don’t mean the ‘crossing the road thing?’”

“Yes, I do. We need to keep that tradition up. How would it look if the big folks never saw us do that? I’ll bet they talk about that a million times a day. Besides, what else is there?”

“I could to do the other thing. You know, the one that’s, well, the most fun. Sort of like moonlighting? You know, helping to get more troops, so to speak?”

“You mean girlfriends? What do you know about that? You’re barely four months old and besides, that’s more for the officers, not the new recruits. Let’s talk about the road thing. You do that for a while then we’ll see about other duties.”

“But, Captain, the crossing the road thing, well … I …”

“You what? Oh, I know. You can say it. It’s OK, go ahead.”

“I’m chicken.”

•••

Roger Lepley is president of Consort Display Group in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a frequest visitor to Kauai.

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