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The Ho Chi Minh Chicken Emergency

By Dave Fox
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

One never knows what random goofiness one might stumble onto in my neighborhood here in Ho Chi Minh City. Take, for example, this renegade chicken I spotted on my way to lunch 30 minutes ago.

HCM Chicken Emergency 2

She looked plump and well-fed. I’m pretty sure she had escaped from one of the many local restaurants. She reminded me of Henrietta, the much larger clucking heroine in one of my favorite childhood books, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater.

As I approached to take her photograph, she ran away, clucking down the road, determined to find freedom.

HCM Chicken Emergency 1

After I bought my lunch, as I walked toward home, I saw her again. And again, at first, she ran. But then, curiosity got the better of her, and she paused to observe a group of men playing chess on the street.

They paid her no attention. I pulled out my phone and snapped more pics until I got her to look at me.

“Don’t worry, little chicken,” I whispered. “I mean you no harm.”

She clucked back at me – angrily.

And then, as I took her portrait beside a motorbike, I realized the problem….

HCM Chicken Emergency 3

In my hand I was holding my lunch – which was, I am ashamed to say, a chicken sandwich.

Published on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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