A good journalist would want to gather more information to ensure that this dilemma is solved, things like knowing the who, what, when, where, why and how so they would be able to get the complete story. Who the fuck was this chicken? What the hell was it doing standing on the side of the road in the first place? When did this happen? Was it before lunch in that case maybe the chicken was hungry. Where on Earth is this road? How did this chicken cross the road? Let’s just concentrate on the issue of why the chicken crossed the road.
The most given answer for the chicken crossing the road is so it could get to the other side, and this follows along with Occam’s razor, which states that the simpler explanation is usually better. I like to think a bit more broadly and dig down into the mind of the chicken as the only way to know for sure why the chicken crossed the road is to know exactly what the chicken was thinking at that time. It is not all that easy being a chicken as many of them are kept in cages to exist as part of an egg-laying factory. Yes the chicken is a birdbrain, but like humans, chickens recognize one another. They take cues from one another. They look to their mothers for guidance and they have a sense of time. Chickens are a lot smarter than turkeys, as turkeys are known to fly up to trees and fall out, injuring themselves or killing themselves. They also fall into holes, and are not be able to get out. Some domesticated turkeys are so stupid that, that upon feeling the first drop of rain, they will look up at the sky, fascinated. They will continue looking straight up into the rain, with their mouths open, until they drown.
When my Eight Grade class went to Atlantic City to see the steel pier back in 1967, I saw a dancing chicken. For the price of a quarter, this chicken would start dancing to the music and at the end it would receive food for its efforts. I thought this was pretty cool till I learned that the chicken was getting electrical shocks from the metal floor that it danced on. Many hens get frustrated and they start pacing back and forth, they need exercise and they think that you will show them some sympathy and give them more room to pace or feed them a snack if you see them getting excited. They are actually really good at remaining still, but when they see a person, they do tend to march up and down their pens.
Some people think that the chicken crossed the road to prove the Intermediate Value Theorem, which states that if a continuous function, f, with an interval, [a, b], as its domain, takes values f(a) and f(b) at each end of the interval, then it also takes any value between f(a) and f(b) at some point within the interval. Put another way, if the chicken is not able to fly and there is no tunnel that goes under the road, then also if the chicken’s footprints are seen on each side of the road, the only logical explanation would be that the chicken crossed the road.
Many famous people have tried to resolve this and Jerry Seinfeld said, “Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, ‘What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place anyway’?” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.” Galileo said, “Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.” Dr. Seuss said, “Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed it, I’ve not been told!” I tend to think that Chicken Little told our road crossing chicken that the sky was falling and that it should cross the road to be safe. Chicken Little was a bit crazy and it went around saying things and nobody knew why.
Written for 4/28/18 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “Why/Y” and bonus points are given if you can end your post with ‘why’.