Creature encounters

June 8, 2013 2 Comments

Hi readers!

In 2012, I joined a Toastmasters club. I am the Vice President doing Public Relations there and this is the website that I manage: Feel free to take a look and maybe drop by the club especially if you ever wanted any practice in public speaking. I personally have found such practices useful in calming the nerves and anxiety I sometimes get.

This is a speech I gave on Creature Encounters. I hope you find it as entertaining as I do the fields and animal friends I encounter!

Near where I live, there is a great field – well, great by Singapore’s standards given our land constraints and all – and on this field there are many… chickens. This is indeed a surprise given the urban jungle that Singapore is, but this is no fiction! There used to only be a small number of them, and they probably wandered over from the nearby forests by the reservoirs. These are wild jungle fowls, not actually chickens although there is much resemblance. Now, thanks to the generosity of my neighbors in feeding them, they have grown into a big extended family – with flocks of them roaming the field!

Across the road from the field, there are some trees where the chickens roost. So the chickens really do cross the road. I can understand where this joke comes from: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” For if you ever get to observe this phenomena, you will be struck by how purposeful the chickens are. They amble up to the side of the road, look both ways before crossing, take their time as they strut across proudly.

They don’t always have this luxury however. Sometimes they have a person chasing them. You see, I chase chickens. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps its my ancient caveman instincts. Long ago, my ancestors were probably hunters. See a prey, see food, we hunt! And oh boy, is the chicken some prey. These birds are fast. And they are the perfect prey for me to hunt; providing just the optimal amount of challenge. Its about as fast as I am in a short sprint, plus, it feigns and executes sharp turns. If I take my eyes off the bird to watch for the uneven terrain, before I know it, I am chasing nothing; and instead running away from my prey which has shrewdly gone back where we came from.

So I try to outlast them. Moving strategically, I drive the chicken into the furthest end of the field, tactically placing myself between the chicken and its roost at all times, thus forcing it in the direction that I wish it to take. Driven to a corner, it makes a break for it. A 100 yard dash across the field with me hard on its feathery tail!

I have never caught the chicken.

But i never intend to lay hands on one; with its claws and beak and all. I guess I don’t quite live up to my ancestors. For me, the thrill is in the chase, that is all. So at the end of the day, I go home, failing to bring home the chicken. But I guess its all fine as long as I can continue to convince myself – that the chicken I see on the dining table is the same one I was chasing.

N.B. No chickens have been hurt in this process. If anything, they are simply getting fitter from this exercise I give them. Sure to come in handy if they ever do need to flee from a real predator.

Love for life, Love for nature
2 Comments to “Creature encounters”
  1. Wanying says:

    It is such a joy to read your entries. They are so well written and paint such vivid images in my head. I feel like I am living vicariously through you just by reading about your adventures. Never stop writing!

    Also, last I checked there are 40 chickens and counting. XD

  2. Leonard Chua says:

    Thanks Wanying!Yea someone wrote to the National Environmental Agency (NEA) of Singapore requesting for the chickens to be managed, but the NEA wrote back saying it was a species that needs to be conserved! 🙂

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