Sarah, Joe and Liza the Chicken

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

You can get a lot of insight while while doing leg press exercises at the gym and watching a show about chickens on the large screen TV.

It happened to me Sunday at the gym as I gazed at the close-captioning on the screen above me, which was tuned into PBS, which was running a older documentary titled The Natural History of Chickens.

I’ve always wanted chicken but have never had the chance since I’ve always lived in towns which prohibit them in backyards.  So, I’ve gotten my vicarious experience with chickens courtesy The Hencam and Vasalini’s Chicken Cam.  Seeing a show on PBS, therefore, was a real treat as I counted reps.

As I finished up my stint on the leg press, a story started rolling across the bottom of the screen. It was about a very special chicken that one of the farmers featured on the program recalled with great fondness and appreciation.

Let me tell it to you now…

Liza was a small Silkie banty hen, with white fluffy feathers that looked almost like fur.  Since she was smaller than the other chickens at the farm, she had some hard times.  When she tried to lay her tiny eggs, she was pushed out of the nest box.  Liza desperately wanted to be a mother…she would try to “mother” the chicks of the other hens, only to be chased away.  The farmer began to take pity on her, so he built her a nest box apart from the others, and Liza began to lay her eggs, only to have them eaten by rats.

The farmer had formed a bond with Liza and was now very worried about her. She became listless and started to pluck at her feathers.  She was obviously in distress. So, the farmer finally constructed a miniature chicken coop just for her.  She laid one egg at a time until there were six, then settled into incubating them.  When her babies finally hatched, the farmer said they were “achingly small” compared to other chicks and he hesitated to let them out in the yard.  But, as Liza and her newly-hatched chicks fussed about being cooped up during that first week, he finally let them out and they began enjoying the normal routine of daily chicken life. Liza proved to be an excellent mother and the chicks thrived.

One day while out in the yard, the entire flock suddenly froze and then began dashing for shelter in a panic.  The farmer, who happened to be looking out the window and saw the commotion. knew right away that a hawk was in the vicinity.  He saw Liza running toward the house, then suddenly turn…she had lost her chicks.  Running back, she found them and gathered them under her and hunkered down. In horror, the farmer saw the hawk swoop down…and it was over.

The farmer went out toward the pile of white feathers, all that was left of LIza.  As he neared her, he saw a chick pop its head out…He knelt down to pick up Liza but before he could, she was up and herding her little family back to where they had been scratching for seeds.

Liza’s feathers were so fluffy that the hawk had misjudged just how far to fly down.  It hadn’t been able to pick her up as he swooped over her, so…he missed!

Later, the farmer reflected on what Liza had done. He had never seen it happen before. He said he had thought to himself, “Here is a creature, thought to be devoid of any thought or feelings, who ignored her own ‘fight or flight’ instinct to go back to her chicks, willing to sacrifice her own life as she tried to protect them.”  Liza would always remain very special to him.

So what does this have to do with politics?  Well, here we have two VP candidates with compelling stories about their families.  And which one is getting trashed? Sarah Palin, of course, because suddenly the Democratic Party has decided to crucify her as a “working mother”  especially because she decided carry through and bring a Down’s Syndrome child into the world.  Joe Biden, after losing his wife and a child in a tragic accident, decides to take his newly-won Senate.  With two very small sons at home, he commutes to Washington, DC so he can be home every night.  Has anyone ever judged his decision to take his Senate seat only weeks after his wife’s death and assume the time-consuming job of being a Senator with two young children at home?  Anybody question his parenting skills?

Didn’t think so…

Two working parents, making difficult, Liza-like decisions.  Trying to do the best they can for their children as they continue with their own lives.

But only one subjected to insult and derision.

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8 Responses

  1. Thank you for this heartwarming story. I could almost see Liza scampering back for her chicks. What a nice refreshing thing to read in the midst of all the scurrilous things that are being posted lately.

    Liza is indeed reminiscent of Sarah Palin. Protect your chicks at all cost and if one is not perfect love it all the same or even more.

    Again thanks for the story – you have made my day. I came here from a link at NQ which is my regular stomping grounds but with your permission , I will now visit here often.

  2. Loving me some Liza the Chicken. To me she symbolizes all the discounted people who just keep on doing their job and keep on loving and protecting their families and keep on, keeping on.

    Thanks for this post GRL, I really, really like it!

  3. I posted the same conclusions about Biden’s “sacrifice” and “heroic” decision a few days ago on another site.

    It is good to know that other people may be noticing. This is the essence of sexism. That two people of different genders can act the same, but be judged by entirely different standards.

    I am sick of hearing my associates talk about how cruel it was to bring Trig to the convention, ignoring the fact that modern evidence says Down sydrome babies do best with tons of stimulation. Nobody saw Trig crying, or even scrunching up like he wanted to cry. He was fascinated by everything going on. As for her concern for her children? Please, did anyone else see Piper shaking hands on her way off the podium in Alaska? That was a great shot. Her eldest daughter got in trouble. Okay, you can’t lock them up, its illegal. Nobody sells chastity belts. Maybe this will start her on the path to accepting sex ed as an important part of schooling.

    They are normal people, closer to most of us than Barack and Michelle could ever be.

  4. Lovely story, ia, and excellent analogy.

    The double standard is definitely alive and well.

  5. Really cool story and a perfect analogy.

    I had chickens about 25 years ago. They can be great fun, especially the chicks.

  6. The next person who send me another anti-Palin story, article, joke is going to get this lovely story about Liza and then the comparison to Biden.

    Thank you for both the story and the comparisons.

    I love coming here.

  7. I love this Liza story. Thankyou.

  8. Oh, but you see, it’s DIFFERENT! Biden had female relatives to care for his kids, doncha know! Sarah only has her measly husband, and we all KNOW that men are poor pathetic creatures who are all thumbs when it comes to raising their own kids. /snark

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