Saturday, July 14, 2007
This is a story involving two dear friends, 'Ocker' and 'Belly'.
Ocker was in my year at medical school. Ocker is a sunny, friendly sort of guy. He is knowledgeable, and a very good doctor, but in some ways he is just a little naive. And take it from me, I am very familiar with naivete. Being somewhat naive myself.
Belly, Ocker's wife, is pretty switched-on, but being of a quieter nature than Ocker, she tends to defer to his opinion, unless she is absolutely certain of her facts.
The other day, Belly, was around here having a cup of coffee with me. She was chatting about backyards and gardens, and she mentioned that she and Ocker had been toying with the idea of buying some chickens. Both Belly and Ocker thought that chickens might be nice pets for their young daughters, with the added benefit of providing fresh eggs. However, they had recently discussed things further, and the idea had been shelved.
"Oh?", I enquired politely. "What made you decide against it?".
Belly shifted uneasily. "Well", she explained sheepishly, "Ocker reckons that unless you keep a rooster with the chickens, the chickens won't lay. And we can't have a rooster in suburbia." Belly paused, then added sceptically, "Ocker says the only way to get chickens to lay without a rooster is to get a stick, and gently poke them in the backside every day. And no way am I going to go around poking chooks' bums."
"What?!" I fairly shrieked, grinning from ear to ear. "That's not true! Chickens lay eggs without a rooster. I can't believe he told you that! Belly, he's pulling your leg."
Belly chewed her lip thoughtfully. "No, I don't think so. He didn't have any sort of smirk when he told me. I can tell when he's teasing me."
"Well then someone's told him that, maybe even years ago, and being a city boy, he's never found out it was all a joke, " I decided.
"I'm googling 'chickens laying' and there's absolutely nothing here about sticks", my husband called from the dining room.
At this unusual interjection, I collapsed into laughter, and Belly joined me as it dawned on her that her wise husband was not always as wise as he seemed.
So which came first - the chicken, the egg, or the stick up the chicken's bottom? Only you can decide. Vote here. Vote now.