A reader has questioned whether the tale of the two chickens was truly just “a cute Baba story”—or did the Baba-lovers fail to recognize that “not everything that falls from the sky is dropped by God from heaven for the personal use of his loving children”? The reader asks, “Didn't anybody try calling the local humane society or posting a notice in B'Cliffe, before hustling them off to disappear out to a farm in the country? Healthy and happy, these babies must have belonged to someone who might now be sadly missing her beautiful chicks.”
Must they? Or might they equally have been “hustled off” to fend for themselves, as are many unwanted animals in
I have no idea. I wasn’t the first person to spot the chickens, and I had no involvement other than reporting what I saw or learned later. Other Baba-lovers—intelligent, sensible, grown-up people, capable of considering the alternatives—had seen them in Briarcliffe or on the Center, fed them, and notified the Center. Inquiries were made, neighbors were called, including one who is a veterinarian. No bereaved resident of Briarcliffe made it known to neighbors that beloved chickens were missing.
The reader who posted the comment to the blog (I didn’t publish it, as I would have preferred a direct communication; after all, my e-mail contact is on this blog) offered information about humane societies, animal hospitals, and classified ads. Um, yes, we’ve heard of those things. I don’t want to use my blog to debate those suggestions or challenge shelter policies. The blog is about Meher Baba, not about animal rights or personal judgments or individual notions of the right way to do things.
It ended up that the chickens were taken to a loving home to be cared for, not exploited for personal gain or pleasure. (To imply that anyone took the chickens for personal use is presumptuous.) The origin of the chickens may remain a mystery...or not, if Baba wants us to know. To me and to most of the people who were involved in or heard about this incident, there was a happy ending to the story, and we all felt touched by clucking angels.
There are many ardent animal-lovers in the Baba world (like most Baba-lovers, they are likely to disagree about many things!). One of them, referring to her own rescued animals, wrote to me: “Baba said that anyone who calls to him from their heart, he hears. I have had this thought, over the years, that these animals have that desperate calling for help in their hearts and Baba sends them to his lovers to care for them.” OK, maybe that’s a ditzy take on our life with Baba. But it works for me, at least in the case of the mischievous chickens.