The Bald Chicken Story
This story may seem weird and trust me when I woke up at 3am, I was thinking the same thing, but I knew it was important and I had to write it, so I did. This is a story of how I see the process of Alzheimer’s disease being like a bird being de-feathered; plucked of its will, and passion for life, one feather at a time.
Let me explain what I mean. Let’s look at a chicken’ life:
- From a cute chick, which cracks from its shell, the small innocent life brings us pleasure.
- To the hen that gives birth, directs, and protects her clan.
- To the mature chicken deemed ready for slaughter, so we may feast and enjoy its goodness.
As each feather is plucked from the chicken, it unfolds a new image in my mind.
- At first, a feather is gripped, the chicken is uncomfortable, but all is manageable. No real harm is done, though the chicken feels danger is looming.
- Then a tug and a pull, as a single feather is plucked from the chicken’s skin. The pain is sharp but short-lived; those around do not even notice the change.
- At times, a handful of feathers are ripped out from the chicken all at once. The pain takes a voice. The bloody exposed skin shows definite signs of change. There is no hiding the red dimpled bare spot from others or from one’s self anymore.
- As the disease progresses, the bare chicken wanders on the outskirts of its community– uncomfortable, self-conscience, and downright angry at times. There is loss of hope. One day the chicken decides to jump off the cliff of community, down into the ostersized ravine.
- The chicken now lives in a new world, preparing to leave its perceived home. There is calmness within. It no longer tries to verbalize or communicate to others its need for love and acceptance in our world. Unconditional love, and compassion are now fulfilled by those in the ravine with the chicken. Those who are like the chicken. The passion to belong outweighs the benefits the chicken receives in our world.
- The next stage for the chicken is death. The chicken is not frightened, but loved ones and acquaintances encounter one last crossroad with the disease. Here we have one last choice, which path will you take.
- The “Path of Pity” for the chicken’s life. A path which rejects the sacrifice the chicken has burdened for our benefit, or The “Path of Celebration and Healing” on behalf of the chicken. All it has been. All it has been through – the memories, the lessons taught, the tears, and the laughter. Here on this path, you can choose to savor and feast what the chicken has left you. The gift of life. The gift of new perceptions of what is truly important.
What path will you choose?