It’s a wonderful world -- unless you’re a chicken
Chickens are the one animal that we need more than any other for survival, and Kauai has thousands of wild chickens, making it the wild chicken capital of the world.
Chicken can be prepared in numerous ways, from deep fried, to barbecued, to a nice saute in wine sauce, to many different Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Mexican dishes. If you include the egg as a chicken, then chicken is also an active ingredient in almost everything we eat, from bread, cakes, protein drinks and thousands of baked goods to the old standby breakfast omelets, scrambled eggs, over easy, poached, boiled and microwaved. There are egg salad sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches. Chicken is the essence of the food chain.
The word "chicken" itself is used to describe someone who is afraid, and there is a good reason -- chickens are usually running from humans. The word is out that we use them as an ingredient in almost everything we eat.
The chicken is also an alarm clock, with the rooster crowing at the crack of dawn and all other regular intervals to manage time without a clock.
We name many things after the chicken, we have the disease of chicken pox, we say the word chicken as a prefix to four-letter words.
Chicken soup is a healing serum used for colds, coughs and flus.
My friend Forrest, who is also known as the "chicken whisperer," can be seen pedaling his bicycle around the island with a wild chicken on the handlebars. Tourists and locals always smile and want their picture taken with his chicken. Everyone wants to be part of the chicken world.
The chicken also will act as a garbage disposal. When camping out, I see the chickens eating everything imaginable, even the unimaginable.
A rooster and a hen are the one pair of animals you would want if stranded on a deserted island.
The chicken is the ultimate. Next time you see a wild Kauai chicken, stop and say, "Eerrrr eeeer eeeeer eeeeer!"
James "Kimo" Rosen lives in Kapaa, Kauai.