A Life Lesson from My Father

Image of a pile of yellow chicks.Dad tended chickens, thousands at a time. They were housed in long narrow buildings that looked like barracks. Just hatched, they were like a mighty yellow sea, moving in great waves of fluff as if of one mind. When I was 12, I asked my father if all chicks were yellow. He said no, occasionally a black chick would appear in the mix. But it didn’t live long. The others pile atop and smother him. The tears mystified my father. For the rest of my life, I dreamt of that ocean of uniformity turning as one against the queer one.





Jonathan Odell is the author of three novels. Essays and short stories appear in various publications. He lives in Minnesota with his husband. For more, see JonathanOdell.com.

Photo Credit: Kabsik Park

5 Responses to “A Life Lesson from My Father”

  1. Arleigh Farrell says:

    I wonder why that occurs in nature and should we apply it to man’s behavior?

  2. Kathy Carroll says:

    Heartbreaking and poignant. Compelling writing.

  3. Mark Reep says:

    Great piece.

  4. A touching and powerful story.

  5. K F Lerner says:

    Powerful story. Well done.

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