#580 Life-saving chicken

By Cathryn Wellner / February 16, 2013
Bonnie and her four chicks. She hatched all four eggs.

Bonnie, her mate and the young geese she hatched.

Cluck Cluck the hen did not care that she had been given a ridiculous name. She didn’t care any more than Bonnie cared when I tucked her into my arms, grateful for her affection. What Cluck Cluck cared about was the people who loved her.

When she sensed fire was rushing through the house she shared with her people, Cluck Cluck cackled until she got the attention of her human family. She had, after all, chosen them.

Cluck Cluck was an egg layer on a farm east of Minneapolis. When she stopped laying eggs, she was useless to the farmer.

Before he could ring her infertile neck, she wandered over to the home of Dennis Murawka and Susan Cotey. That was a smart move. The couple built her a special coop. When the weather cooled, they brought her into their basement.

That friendship saved Murawka and Cotey. Their smoke detectors did not raise the alarm when fire began blazing downstairs. Fortunately, Cluck Cluck did respond. She clucked until she woke her human pals, very likely saving them from the fire that consumed their home.

She makes me think of Bonnie. She never saved us from fire, but she did raise a couple of Canada geese and a lot of chicks. I loved that chicken, and she loved me back. She would have done anything in her power to alert me to a fire.

Bonnie and Cluck Cluck are two of many examples of interspecies friendships. They are more common than we think, and they give me hope.


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