Lydia glumly picked at her skirt and sighed. “I feel bad,” she said.
“About what, dear?” I sat down next to her on the couch.
“Oh… about chickens.”
I was not expecting this answer, but I ran a hand down her arm anyway, as she was obviously feeling real emotions over these chickens or whatever. “Oh. Why are you sad about the… Chickens?”
“I just don’t understand why they always have to be the punchline of jokes. Why does everyone always think chickens are funny? It’s not fair.”
“Huh.” I nodded considering all of the chickens crossing the road that I have carelessly made fun of all my life, and all of the rubber chickens I have laughed at. “Chickens are pretty funny I guess.”
“Sure,” she went on. “But none of it is fun for the chickens, right? They didn’t choose to be in these jokes. They aren’t walking out on stage and telling dumb stories about themselves so that people will laugh. They probably don’t even know we are making fun of them. They think we are their friends. It’s just not nice.”
“Yeah,” I ran my hand down her arm again. “You are right. We aren’t very nice to chickens.” I cleared my throat and thought for a few moments. “You know, we eat them too, right.”
“Yeah, I was just going to mention that. That’s not very nice either.” She shook her head. “But mostly I’m sad about the joke thing.”