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Third Honorable Mention

Questions About Life Because of Chickens Miranda Stephens “Farm’s looking great,” Julia said, stepping out of her compact car. “Ya,” Jacob agreed from the front porch. They watched a few chickens pluck at the ground before them at the bottom of the porch stairs. “Do you think chickens think about anything else than eating?” Jacob said from his seat beside her. “What?” Julia processed the question. “You know Jules, do they, like, think about the world around them?” “Hmm …” She pondered the idea. “I don’t think their brains are wired to do that.” “Is it because they’re just your standard egg-laying hens?” “No. I mean the people who domesticated them long ago didn’t breed them for their smarts. They bred them for meat and eggs, right?” “So why do you think they have personalities?” Julia scratched at the scars where her prosthetic arm attached to her natural elbow. “Having a personality isn’t necessarily a sign of high intelligence.” “But don’t you need an advanced brain to have stuff like that? I know their brains aren’t as advanced as ours, but I mean they got something in there.” Jacob leaned forward against his walking cane. “Maybe they just picked up their personalities from their parents. I know people do that.” Jacob skewed his mouth. “Possibly. This is the fourth generation of chickens I’ve had, and the hens raise the chicks.” Small and fluffy chicks stayed close to the hens, watching them pluck at the ground. “Actually, if that’s true that we pick up the personalities from the previous generation, what happens with people like us?” “Us?” Julia repeated. “You mean the PTSD?” “Yah. We’re not like our parents. I mean I had a fiancé, but I broke that off.” 17

2017 Freshwater Literary Journal  
2017 Freshwater Literary Journal  

Professional literary journal produced at Asnuntuck Community College