Friday, 11 September 2009

The Chicken Man and His Canine Companion

“Jess. Jess!” You’ve got to come with me, right now!

I thought, “Whatever Ken’s experiencing it has got to be important.” Ken took my hand and we sped-walked out of our home, down the side street, towards the downtown area.

“Jess, I need you to translate something for me.”

“Okay…what is it?”

As we turned the corner of the street, there it was. About sixty boggled eyes were staring at both Ken and I. Their sixty feet were grasping onto the thin metal bars of their deteriorating cages.


“Yes, Jess. Chickens. Can you please ask the man what he is doing with them.”

I sighed. There was a man standing on the back of his truck, with a large carving knife, cleaning off the tainted lily-white feathers of a lifeless chicken. I asked the man, curiously, “Sir, excuse me. Are you selling those chickens?”

“Yes, I am,” he replied in Korean. “I drive from town to town, selling them. I kill, clean, and cut them. Then you buy. Three for ten-thousand won ($10).”

“Ten thousand won?” I was surprised. What a bargain (something to look forward to for supper).

As Ken and I were about to leave, something caught our attention. In one of the rust-ridden cages was one of the cutest dogs I had ever seen. His perfect fluffy head was beautiful amidst the backdrop of the sporadic head movements of the chickens. His spotless curly-haired coat was gleaming against the dirt-stained feathers of the clucking birds. He was so happy to see both Ken and I, and he pressed his button-black nose and stuffed-animal like paw against his confines.

I had to ask the man, “Sir…are you selling that dog for eeeeating purposes?” I almost choked on those words. I had mental images going through my mind of the dog…the butcher’s knife…ugh.

“Of course not,” he replied, laughing. Don’t worry, I’m selling it as a pet. A pet. Oh you Westerners.”

Relieved, Ken and I dollied back to the side of the truck.

“Bye bye, doggie. Oh, you’re too cute!” I couldn’t help but almost put my finger between those cage bars. Ken instinctively took my hand. “Oh alright. Bye, dog.”

And chickens? Don’t go anywhere. I’ll see you soon…very soon (muah ha ha).

- Jess

1 comment:

  1. Christine(Jess's mom)14 October 2009 at 20:44

    I know you loved your dog 'Coco' so much and now you miss 'Kobe' a lot.. I understand that you must be hard to ask them what they're going to with a little dog.. don't worry, they love pets to live together too :)