02 October 2007

I'm glad I'm not . . .

I'm glad I'm not a chicken in Moçambique. As you drive down the road here, you regularly pass people waving something at you as you pass by. At first glance, it might appear to be a very thick tattered flag or cloth. A closer look reveals that it is a live chicken, held upside down by the legs that is being waved furiously.

That's not the only indignity chickens endure. It is a common sight to see someone with a dozen chickens tied together by the legs and slung over the handlebars of a bicycle. People are always walking around carrying a chicken by the legs or wings.

Goats also have an "interesting" existence. You can hear them being pulled around town all the time. They often are uncooperative and resist going where their owner wishes. They make lots of noise in the process. Perhaps they know that they're to be the main course at dinner.

Some goats in Malawi, on the other hand, get first class treatment. We've seen goats riding bicycles in Malawi! I don't know how that they do it, but we've seen goats sitting on the bicycle seat with their front hooves on the handle bars as their owners push the bicycle to town. (I guess the goats haven't learned to pedal yet.)

[From the December 1999 edition of johnsons' journal.]

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