The One-Legged Chicken Story
I have always liked stories and sometimes I share them with others. This one supposedly comes from my uncle. I say supposedly because I am never quite sure what is truth or fiction. Anyway, he tells me when he was about 7 or 8, he remembers having a one-legged chicken as a pet. Every year his Dad, my grandfather, would get about 500 chicks to raise. Many would be butchered, and some kept for laying eggs. This particular year there was a one-legged chicken in the group. It was smaller than the rest. He thought it was smaller because it did not get enough food. When they scatter feed for the chicks to eat the little one-legged chicken could not hop on one leg fast enough to get the food. It would hop and flutter its wings, but with the bigger chicks the little guy could not get enough to eat. My uncle thought that was not fair and not genuinely nice of the other chicks. He also saw that the food given to the other chicks was in big pieces and the little one-legged chick could not eat the big pieces.
My uncle, having a kind heart decided to help the little one-legged chick. So, he got a little hammer to break up the bigger pieces of food. Then he would feed the one-legged chick, keeping the bigger chicks away from him. Soon the little one-legged chick was getting healthier and bigger. It was doing better hopping here and there and could fly a little better too. But then came the day that it was time to butcher the chickens. That was the reason why they had chickens. It was so the family would have chicken for dinner over the wintertime. My uncle thought they were going to butcher the little one-legged chicken. The one-legged chicken was standing by my uncle’s leg and had wrapped one wing around his leg. When my grandfather saw that he said it did not make much sense to butcher a one-legged chicken because there would only be one leg. The one-legged chicken’s life was spared.
Today we need to stop and think. Would we help a one-legged chicken? If we knew someone who had only one leg, would we stop and help them? What if they only had one arm, would we help them? What if someone could not run as fast as you can, would you help them? What if someone did not understand math or history, would you stop to help them? This is what Jesus is asking of us. We are to look for those who need our help. And then be generous in helping others. We should not judge whether they need our help, because everyone needs help at different times. Let us always be first to offer help where we can.
This homily is for the Children’s Mass today.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen