Liv stood impatiently with her arms crossed. She rolled her eyes. “Don’t be such a baby, Anavi. It’s a chicken.”
I looked at her, the fear in my eyes increasing, as I remembered last year’s incident. I shook it out of my mind. “Yeah, well, it’s your fault I won’t go in,” I said with a shrug.
Liv grinned, “Oh yeah.”
I turned my attention back to the chicken coop.
Liv put her hand on my shoulder, and sarcastically said, “I’ll be right here the whole time.”
I shrugged her ḧand off and inched towards the door, Liv close at my heels. After what felt like forever, I stood face to face with the screen door. I gulped. Chickens were everywhere: on the perches, in their little nests, on the hanging bird feeder. I turned back, but I was stopped by Liv. I tried to break from her grasp, but she was too strong. She turned me around and I once again faced the door.
“Don’t be a chicken,” Liv smirked.
“Thanks, Liv,” I muttered.
She patted me on the back. “Are you just going to stand there?”
YES! “No, I am going in.”
“Good, me too.”
I took a deep breath, and turned the door knob.
Then the next.
Suddenly I was in the coop. Chickens were everywhere. A few toddlers were searching for eggs, their parents taking pictures. I just stood there. Frozen.”Liv,” I whispered, not moving. She didn’t answer. I turned my head. “LIV!” I hissed. I froze. Liv was on the other side of the door. “Do not do it. Liv, I swear.” She didn’t budge. With an evil grin she clicked the lock. I glared at her. She is really going to get it. My anger quickly turned fear as I turned back to the swarming chickens.
Liv’s cheerful voice called out, “All you gotta do is pet one of the chickens, Anavi, Just touch it.”
I clenched my fists, and without dropping eye contact with the chickens, I growled, “Let me out now, Liv.”
She laughed.”Touch a chicken, and I will.”
I gulped, and look down at the chickens near my feet. They moved fast. Too fast. I tried to make sure I could see all of them, but there were too many. I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to be here, but I wasn’t getting out until I touched the feathered devil.
I rolled my eyes. Watch me touch that chicken, Liv.
I looked around to find a somewhat nice-looking chicken, who didn’t look like it was going to peck me to death. The chicken I chose was tinier than the rest; a little golden chicken huddled in the corner. I inched my way close to her, being careful not to disturb the other chickens. I kneeled in front of her and extended my arm. My hand trembled, and I turned my head away as I got closer to the chicken.
I winced as the chicken’s sharp beak dug into my finger. I retrieved my hand, and inspected it for cuts. Nothing. I looked back at the chicken; it was occupied with a piece of bread.
I heard loud laughter. Liv was on the ground, her laugher becoming louder and louder.
“It didn’t even hurt,” I pouted. That was true. It hadn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.
Liv’s laughter died down and I smiled.”Well, you saw it, I touched it.” She frowned, but opened the door. I brushed the wood shavings off my knees and stood up. As I walked towards the door, instead of tip toeing around the chickens, I walked straight. This time the chickens moved around me, minding their own business. I stepped outside of the coop.
Liv’s smile stretched across her face, her eyes twinkling with mischief “Do you want to come to get eggs in the morning?” she mocked.
I shrugged,”Why not?”
I turned back to Liv, and laughed at the bewilderment on her face.
Everyone has fears. However, being afraid makes you, overall, a braver person. You have to test your limits in order to lose your fears. It is about taking the tiniest step towards overcoming it, which brings a boost of confidence that will help you take bigger steps in the future. Being pecked by the chicken showed me that chickens can’t hurt me as much as I thought. Maybe next I will wade in a lake, or stand in front of a crowd for even a second. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ”You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”