Friday, October 17, 2003


An e-mail from Carrie Mattox in Highlands Ranch, Colorado prompts me to ask myself whether a chicken can qualify as an Amputee of the Week.

In September 1945, and a five half month old Wyandotte rooster was pecking through the dust of Fruita, Colorado when its owner decided to prepare him for the pot.

However, despite being decapitated with an axe, the bird -- named Mike -- continued to thrive.

Scientists who examined the rooster found that the axe blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was in a jar, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since most of a chicken's reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem Mike was able to remain quite healthy.

When I first read this story I thought it was a wind up -- but after visiting Mike the Headless Chicken's Cybercoop I've changed my mind. The residents of Fruita, Colorado are even trying to organise a campaign to get Mike into the White House, which given the current incumbent seems like a noble cause.

To this day, the town of Fruita celebrates Mike's impressive will to live, not his disability -- and for that reason I'm prepared to suspend my speciesist prejudices and name Mike the Headless Chicken as this week's Amputee of the Week.


Post a Comment

<< Home