Marge had a stray chicken in her yard. It was smart. It had found a hole in her lattice and slept in a safe haven beneath her deck.
The chicken had escape when her neighbor, Ted, died, and his kids sold his house, and the old hen house was razed. They'd donated the other chickens to some local farm. Leona evidently hadn't wanted to leave.
One morning, Leona was pecking at the screen door. Marge opened the door, and Leona marched in, assessed the place, then ate a crumb from Marge's breakfast granola bar off the worn linoleum floor.
Leona was polite, never made a mess in the house, and so Marge took to letting her sit on her kitchen table. They'd have breakfast together; Marge would share bits of granola from her bar, saving the chocolate coating for herself.
"I am her own kind," Marge said. In the old neighborhood where house ownership was turning over as fast as she could flip her precooked chicken nuggets six minutes through their baking time, she was out of her element, and she identified with the chicken.
She didn't tell her daughter about letting the chicken sit on the table – Sam would think her aged mother had finally tipped over into the deranged.
But having a chicken in the house made Marge feel a little wild, and that was different from deranged. She felt wild in a way she hadn't since before she'd become so arthritic. When she was actually more who she'd always been. Someone who might, and once did, as a young woman, ride a horse down a mountain in a thunderstorm. When being wild was intriguing if not downright sexy.
So Marge felt wild and a little sexy sharing granola bars with a chicken, even chicken nuggets, getting a kick out of the fact that Leona had no clue she eating her own kind.