Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chickens, Ducks and... ?

This is an "analogy" I read recently online, regarding homosexuality and its "genetic causes". It's a little blatant and heavy-handed in its convoluted moral, but I present it for your perusal.
One day there is a chicken called “straight”. A born chicken. One day when he was a young adult, he began to fantasize drifting across the lakes with the ducks. He watch some “documentaries” on it. So he made his move and dives into the lake. He felt good for that fleeting moment. Then his legs began to struggle paddling across the lake. It was then he realised it is just not for him. He climbed out exhausted, and with deep pain and the realisation that the lake life is just not for him. Then all the chickens rejoice for him for he had left the lake. He felt good, he felt pleased. So he began to go around spreading the news to every chicken community that the lake lifestyle is horrible, damaging and life threatening. Little did he know that he is disrespecting a duck who was around there.

That duck is called “gay”. He is a born duck. No one believes he is born that way because on the chickenville the land is huge but the lake is small. But he had lived his entire life as a duck, among the small community of ducks nearby. Some of the ducks had ventured into chickenville with the same disasterous consequences of trying to live like a chicken. But they realise they will never be a chicken and returned to the lake. These ducks were scorned by the majority chicken community for not trying hard enough to be a chicken. But the duck saw what happened and realised, ducks will be ducks, chickens will be chickens.

The moral of the story? A duck called gay, even by the pressure of the majority of chickens, can never be called a chicken, and must accept himself in that full affirmation. A chicken called straight may try to venture into the lake lifestyle for curiousity, but can never be a duck. Straights and gays are but two sexual orientations. Respectfully, all must accept what they are born as, and can never attempt to cross over. The evidence is all there. The day ducks and chickens were born, they were born distinctive in characters and will face life as who they are. There may be confusion along the way, but the true self always will mature.

Yes, I found it quite amusing, but at the same time so completely weak and hopelessly flawed as a fable that I couldn't help writing my own (by the bye, in mine ducks mean something totally different):

Once there was a chicken. He was born a chicken, he thought he would always be a chicken. His friends and family were all chickens. One day he saw the ducks floating and swimming across the nearby lake. The idea attracted him, and he found himself innocently drawn to the ducks. Some of his fellow chickens started to tease him, scornfully calling him "ducky" and "duckboy". They ridiculed him for wanting to join and spend time with the ducks. He spent his days thinking about the ducks swimming in the lake and flying overhead. He thought maybe chicken society was right and he was more like a duck than a chicken. After all, he liked the feel of the cool water on his feet and was so captivated with the ducks' beautiful coloring. Once he jumped in the lake and tried to swim. He tried to quack like a duck. He often associated with the other ducks. He started to feel confused.

Eventually, he started to believe the things the other chickens said of him, and started to think that he was actually BORN a duck, or at least with duck-like tendencies and interests, and that God had just made a mistake by putting him inside a chicken's body. He decided to join the ducks. He tried to look and act more like a duck--to make his feet webbed so he could swim with the other ducks; to make his wings stronger so he could join in flying with the other ducks; to adjust his voice box so he could sound like the other ducks; to color his feathers to look more like the ducks. He enjoyed his exciting, if counterfeit, new life as a duck. He met a lot of other chickens who also had realized they were supposed to be ducks, and they became his friends and powerful allies against their former chicken selves, often reminding each other that they were meant all along to be ducks. They flew in interesting patterns and spent their hot summer days in the cool pond. He felt like he belonged, and the other chicken-turned-ducks didn't make fun of him for wanting to be a duck, they welcomed him openly, reaffirming that the other chickens were wrong about him, and unfair to ridicule his new, "true" self.

Then one day, after many years of living as a chicken-duck, the chicken looked at himself and realized that he was simply not happy. He had a lot of fun, but the happiness it brought wasn't lasting, and he saw that he was being dishonest to himself and others. He looked back at the chickens and realized that they were wrong about him. Just because he liked the feel of the water or appreciated beautiful colors did NOT mean he was a duck! He knew he was not being true to himself. He couldn't change what God had made him, no matter what he said or did, and even though the appeal of being one of the ducks had at one time been strong, it began to fade as he discovered and learned to appreciate his true self. All the things chicken society had told him were just not true. He looked at his chicken feet and his chicken wings and knew that he was wrong about feeling he was meant to be a duck. He realized that he was created a chicken, and even though he at first thought it would be more fun to be a duck, he knew that is not who he truly was. It took him a while to change all the chicken-ducklike thoughts he had, but gradually he began to feel those old desires fade. He went back to the chicken colony and finally felt like he truly belonged. The fleeting happiness he felt with the chicken-ducks was soon overshadowed as he contributed and helped the other chickens realize that it's okay to be different and still be a chicken. His old chicken friends were surprised, but learned that he was right. To the chicken's surprise, his former chicken-duck friends turned on him viciously, snapping at him whenever he tried to tell them how happy he now truly was, and beating him with their wings when he said that he was trying to help other confused chickens. They called him a traitor, a liar, a coward and insisted he was even more confused than before--that he was still a chicken-duck. He was surprised and annoyed that these so-called friends who were so supportive of his decisions before were now so unfair to him, ignoring his rediscovered true identity, but demanding he accept theirs.

The chicken soon had to avoid the company of his old, fair-weather friends, and while it hurt him, he knew he had to be true to himself, even if there were a lot of loud, persuasive and powerful birds who tried to convince him otherwise. He knew ducks are ducks and chickens are chickens. Ducks and chickens complement each other, and they naturally are what they are, and they can't pretend to be what they're not. He was more of a chicken than most of them would know, and he had reclaimed his true identity.
There you go! And I didn't even have to explain what mine meant as I went along or include a labelled moral--hopefully it made sense on its own. It's still a little flawed, but much more coherent. And to the one behind the muddled original, thanks for the inspiration!


  1. Yes, that first one WAS hopelessly flawed. Really, I could hardly follow it. Yours was very well done of course, but I'm wondering if it really helps to make a fable of it when it is just so close to the original story . . . maybe so.

  2. True... I guess I used the original fable as a foundation because it was so skewed, I thought with some direction it could make sense.

  3. Good revision of the story. Great. Jolly. Fab. Super. And I am so confused about how we are ducks and chickens, we are all the same species aren't we? Those people don;t know what they are talking about.

  4. I liked your story. I personally like penguins better than both ducks AND chickens. :) ... why can't we all just get along?

  5. Your revision doesn't make sense. Let me offer an analogy that's far better than either "fable."

    A little duckling is being raised in the chicken community by a wide pond. He is still young, and the adult chickens cannot discern him from their own offspring, as his soft down is the same yellow as that of their own. During his entire upbringing, he assumes that he must be a chicken like everybird else - but at the same time, he feels in the back of his little duck mind that he just doesn' in. Then, one fateful day, he spies his reflection of the pond and realizes with a great start that he is, in fact, a duck. Of course, having been raised a chicken, he still believes himself to be one of them - but those nagging voices in his head are suddenly thrown into starker perspectives. The trauma is great. He struggles with his duckiness for many years, convinced that being a chicken is the only option for him.

    Finally, one day, he happens to glimpse fellow ducks on the pond. When he finally meets them, he realizes that they aren't perfectly graceful - no, not glorious - but they understand him, and they know that their shared identity is natural and good. Though the chickens, disgusted by the water of wide pond, have told him all along that being a duck is repulsive, immoral, perverted - that ducks will crush the eggs of their own young and will destroy the traditional chicken community if their numbers grow - the poor little duckling finally realizes his place.

    He ultimately confides in his chicken family that he is, in fact a duck.

    They scorn him, tell him that he is evil and must suffer all eternity, peck his feathers relentlessly, hustle him into the pond and tell him that he may never return. He is hurt, in terrible pain, his heart wrenched in two. At first, he aches only to return to those whom he thought loved him; he longs for acceptance. However, can now view the chickens for what they really are, objectively - a society, flawed like any other, that simply doesn't understand him and reviles all things duck.

    At last, he joins the ducks and starts a healthy, happy life of his own. He doesn't look back.

    You get me? Forgive my poor writing, but this is a bit more "in keeping" with my own experiences.

  6. Um, sorry, but your version makes even less sense, and goes against the entire point of my rewrite. Nice work posting anonymously though. For your information, I have ways of discovering your identity. Plus, yours has a tragic and hopeless ending.