The short answer to that is “To get to the other side.”
However, since chickens aren’t as simple-minded as they may seem to be, it may be necessary to ask a further question: “Why does the chicken feel it needs to go to the other side?” or “What does the chicken hope to find on the other side which it can’t seem to find on the side it used to be on?”
And what if upon going through all the hassle and risking the traffic the chicken finds out that he has made the wrong decision and the promise of what he was looking for is after all not found on the other side?
Imagine the quandary the poor chicken now finds itself to be in. Does it make its troublesome return by recrossing the road or will it be better to stay put and put up with the frustration and discomfort of having to live with its mis-taken journey?
There is something else about crossing to the other side. The timing of the actual crossing is of vital importance. The chicken should bear in mind that to time its crossing during peak hours makes an already difficult crossing even more hazardous. Heavy traffic is very dangerous to crossing chickens unless that particular road has a prominent sign which clearly says, “CHICKEN CROSSING”. On the whole, given the generally poor road signage in the country, chickens are well warned not to solely rely on such road signs as may have been put up.
By observation, we all know how chickens tend to cross the road. There are generally three kinds of chicken-crossings. Some chickens just run across to the other side without looking (or thinking). There is seemingly no sense of timing. These type of chickens have been known to lose feathers, wings, limbs, or even tragically their very lives. Another type of crossing chickens also rush (or run) across to the other side but in an unpredictable zig-zag kind of manner. The risks involved and the results are generally the same as the first manner of crossing. The other type of crossing chickens, unlike the first two, generally have no timeframe in mind at all. They tend to take their own sweet time. With their eyes not on the traffic but on possible food that may lie in their path, they peck at each grain as they may come across and in this timeless manner proceed across the road. Predictably, the risks involved and the results of this third kind of crossing are generally also the same as the first and second manner of crossing.
With all this in mind, the question should be posed afresh: “Why does a chicken cross the road?”
Whatever the answer/s, the fact remains: chickens do cross the road, either from this end to the other, or from the other to this end. Chickens do have the right to cross the road. Let’s hope that they don’t hurt themselves, or worse still the entire farm. (To be continued…)
(Republished with permission from OnGOHing)