Sunday, January 09, 2005

Theo & Diane

Theo & Diane
Originally uploaded by kwshoes.
I played a small part in rescuing the two baby chicks pictured here, getting a lecture from their adoptive mother, while one of their step-brothers/sisters listens in. The real heroes are Theo from the Coffee Plantation who, in thoughtful disregard for his own safety, stepped into the middle of Whitehead Street and halted traffic to keep the babies safe from harm. Cricket, a Coffee Plantation regular, caught the chicks and brought them into the coffee shop and put them into a large box.

Theo called me at home and asked what he ought to do with the presumed orphans. I in turn called the Chicken Store and asked Janet to ask Katha what to do. The answer came quickly; ask Theo to put a piece of fabric in the box so the chicks could keep their feet warm (no, I'm serious!), and would I be willing to transport them to the store. Of course, I was.

When I got to the Plantation, Theo had already provided a towel. We moved the chicks into a smaller box, one I could manage while riding my bicycle, and I set off up Whitehead Street with the chicks peeping and moving around inside of the closed box.

Arriving in a few minutes at the Chicken Store, Katha warmed the chicks feet in her hands for 30 seconds or so, then took them into the other side of the store where the live chickens are kept. She decided quickly to put them into an enclosure where a mother hen was already nesting with about six other babies she had hatched recently. When the two newcomers were set on the floor, all of the mothers babies came running over to see them, one of them taking a quick peck at one of the foundlings. The mother hen, however, apparently sensing the needs of the orphans, quickly took them under her wing -- literally -- and settled down as all of the others made their ways underneath her protective body. I returned to the Coffee Plantation with Rooster Rescue Special Agent decals for Theo and Cricket, and one for myself for the small part I played in the rescue mission.

I went back to the store the next day to get some pictures and found the two lost chicks, who we all decided to name Theo and Diane in honor of the proprietors of the Coffee Plantation (in hindsight, Theo and Cricket might have been more appropriate, but what the heck) securely ensconced as part of the now expanded family.

I went to the store again today to bring Janet some lunch, and she told me that the entire family would be leaving almost immediately for Ohio, where they would be living with a family who were willing to adopt them. Katha currenly has a surplus of chickens available for adoption and needs to find homes for some to free up space for the rescues which go on almost daily. Adoptions are free to a qualified home. Donations for the cost of transportation and for the ongoing work of the Rooster Rescue Team are always welcome.

The Key West Chicken Store, where everything is for sale except the chickens.

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