The New York Times tells us that the burgeoning trend in suburban/exurban pets these days is...chickens. Yes, chickens. The membership of the American Poultry Association has tripled in recent years. Many people are raising the smaller bantams, which you don't eat. Maybe you use the eggs, but mainly, you've got yourself a chicken as a pet. And then there are the shows. Who didn't love the movie Best in Show? Just substitute chickens for the dogs, and what could be more entertaining?
I have my suspicions that this chicken craze is expanding geographically. Last weekend, Mr. Tangerine and I took Ben to Navy Pier, where we rented one of those surrey bikes. We pedaled down the paths in Olive Park (Ben ably steering the vehicle) and went past Ohio Street Beach. Right across the street from Lake Point Tower (where I hear Oprah used to live), near some bushes a few feet from the path, we saw...chickens. Two roosters. One a rich reddish brown, one a mottled dark brown and white. I hopped off the bike and went toward them (am I not fearless?), and they retreated into the brush. (Ha! They're so chicken!) WTF? Does anyone know why there are free-range chickens in the heart of downtown Chicago? Anyone?