This is a valid question, believe it or not.
Since arriving in the Texas countryside I’ve seen loose chickens scratchin’ and peckin’ in front yards. There can be anywhere from five to ten chickens at a time. They aren’t wild by any means, but they are true “free range” chickens. There are no fences and the edge of the lawn will go right to the edge of the road – where the chicken could cross – if it wanted to.
But the chickens don’t ever cross the road. I have no idea why they don’t cross the road. Maybe they heed the silent warning of the big metal chickens.
The chickens stay in their yard, very rarely venturing to the next door neighbor’s yard. They never leave home. Chickens are the homebodies of the animal kingdom. (Remember when I toured the chicken houses and made that video of the one cock in the hen house of 20,000? I asked my guide why the free range farm chickens didn’t run away. He said, ‘They just don’t.’)
You’ll be driving down the highway and you’ll see chickens peckin’ and scratching at the edge of the road, but there is no danger of them running out in front of you, not like there is with the deer.
The deer, cute as they are, don’t have the good sense to stay put until after you pass.
You will be the only car for miles in all directions on a stretch of two-lane country road, when you come upon a herd of deer grazing on the side of the road. They could even be up on a little grassy knoll, a good fifteen feet from the road.
But something about the sight of a moving vehicle makes deer suddenly suicidal. They way they so calmly eat grass with their friends and family you know they aren’t thinking about anything at all. But then along comes a car, breaking their silent reverie and triggering some latent desire to die a violent death.
They will wait until you are almost aligned with them and then they choose that very moment to launch themselves in front of your car. This will then prompt all of their calmly grazing buddies to also propel themselves in front of your car – the only moving object for miles.
In this way, they are a lot like the lemmings that hurl themselves from perfectly good cliffs.
Like the giant metal chicken is a warning to the live chickens, someone decided to erect a giant scrap metal stag statue as a warning to the deer. Probably.
But deer just don’t listen like the chickens.
World’s Largest Scrap Metal Stag
This stag in Converse, Texas is made out of all kinds of metal scrap. If you look closely you can see bicycles, cars…
The 40-foot giant scrap metal stag crossing guard is off I-10 at The Parc at Escondido, 4203 Loring Park, Converse, Texas.
(No chickens or deer ran across the road during the writing of this post.)