One of the things that people find charming about Key West is the chickens and roosters that roam freely through the streets, backyards and Blue Heaven’s outdoor dining. While, I admit that in the beginning I found them to be a novelty, I can now safely say the novelty has worn off.
Recently, a hen that lives in the common area of my building has given birth to many adorable little chicks. They are so cute, even as they are no longer novel I can’t help but ooh and aah over how darn cute they are. The thing abut these eight or so (it really is hard to count when they don’t stand still for even a moment) chicks is that they are always around. One of them tends to lag behind the others, too. They occupy a good portion of the sidewalk that takes me to the back building where I live. This is all fine, until it is time to walk Babka.
You see, the chicks are in no hurry to move and Babka, though she is a mutt, is a terrier mutt. She was bred to hunt small rodents and I am pretty sure she can’t tell the difference between a baby chick and a mouse. The mother hen does not seem to like Babka much, and has made that quite well known. However, rather than just going somewhere else (like the empty lot a few feet away or out into the parking area) she insists on hanging out right in the middle of the path and not moving. I am fairly certain that the entire time Babka is watching them she is thinking “Hmmm… I bet they taste just like chicken…”
I try to chase her away and she moves so slowly you would think she is a sloth, not a winged animal. She raises her wings in protest and has tried to come at Babka. If Babka were not on a leash, I would think the hen would not be so bold. I am pretty sure in the dog-chicken showdown, the dog wins. Alas, Babka is kept at bay and the baby chicks will go on to grow up and continue to overpopulate the island in a manner that tourists find charming and residents, well, not so much.