My Step-Daughter’s Unexpected Passenger


My step-daughter, Elizabeth, is a nurse’s aid. She was on her way to work one day and stopped off at our house to drop off her children for me and my wife to watch while she worked her shift. We live on a 52-acre farm.

She came, dropped off the kids, and stuck around for a few minutes for a gabfest, then she went on her way to work.

After twenty minutes, she called to tell us that she had an extra passenger in her mini-van. She didn’t know its name, but it clearly resembled one of my landlord’s chickens. It was a red hen with a big, plump belly. We feed them well.

“If I bring it back,” she said, “I’ll be late for work. Will you come and get it?”

She worked a good half hour’s drive from our farm.

“No, I will not come and get your chicken,” my wife told her. It was the middle of the day and I was working. We didn’t have time to go chasing chickens. But my wife could not resist the urge to ask, “How did a chicken get in your mini-van?”

“Dylan left the door open when he got out. The chicken jumped in and started eating the candy that was on the floor.”

I could see that happening. The grandchildren are always munching on something. She continued to tell the story.

“I was driving along, looked over into the passenger seat, and saw a chicken just sitting there, looking at me!”

“Did it have its seat belt on?”

I wanted to know.

As she pulled into the retirement center where she worked, Elizabeth asked her mom how she was going to get the chicken from her mini-van back to the farm where we live. My wife suggested to her daughter that she call her grandmother to pick up the chicken and drive it home. But I’m reasonably sure that my mother-in-law did not charge the chicken cab fare. I could be wrong.

(photo courtesy of Sharpeyek/