Many people have heard the expression, “Running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” but few of us have actually witnessed this spectacle. My grandparents had a farm and swore to me that a chicken would, in fact, run around the floor of the barn, randomly bumping into various farm implements after having its head removed. Ultimately the chicken would expire; and the farmer would prepare it for his wife who would, in turn, prepare it for supper. Believe it or not, there’s a festival to honor one particular chicken who managed to live for 18 blissful and prosperous months after such a beheading!
Dates: May 15th and 16th, 2009
Closest Big Cities:
Star of the show: Mike, the headless chicken
Events: Chicken dinner, Car Show, Music and Entertainment, Chicken Dance Contest, more chicken dinner, lawnmower races, and a 5k “Run like a headless chicken” race.
Pageantry: Good Egg awards
Duration: Two Days
History: On September 10th, 1945, an unsuspecting Wyandotte Rooster named Mike was innocently scratching around in the yard when Clara Olsen (the matron of the farm) spotted him from her window. Needing something particularly impressive for dinner that night (her mother was visiting), she dispatched her husband to the barnyard to harvest young Mike. Well, Lloyd Olsen (Clara’s husband) knew that his mother-in-law particularly savored the neck portion of the bird, and he set out to wield his ax in such a way that this tasty morsel would be preserved. Lloyd’s blow successfully separated Mike’s head from the rest of his body and while most poultry would have expired shortly after, Mike soldiered on!
Yes, Mike shook it off. Lloyd waited for the bird to expire; and when Mike kept reflexively pecking around the yard, Lloyd waited some more. The next morning, Lloyd found Mike sleeping with the rest of the chickens, without an apparent care in the world. He fed Mike water and grain with an eye-dropper (I’m not making this up) and after the chicken lived for another two and a half weeks, Lloyd drove him 250 miles to the
Americans love to celebrate these sorts of things and after all, who wouldn’t admire such a heart warming story? The next time you’re in
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