Lynne parked her car in the little lot behind Cookies Du Moi. It was an odd little corner of Salt Lake City, mixing pawn shops, liquor stores with barred windows and an invasion of upscale pastel-colored urban grazing and knick-knack shops. Small stores with cute names offered yogurt, dried flowers in a basket, ducks wearing bonnets and specialty bagels that cost more than a five-pound pot roast. New Age music drifted into the street.
Lynne noticed a shabbily dressed man working his way around parked cars, peering in windows and under bumpers. She locked her car and entered Cookies Du Moi.
“There’s a man out in the parking lot acting suspicious. He might be trying to break into a car,” reported Lynne.
The lady behind the counter was casually dressed, but brand names emblazoned her persona. “Yes,” she said, “he’s one of the locals. He’s doing a favor for the owner of Raphael’s Wreaths and Incense Boutique next door. See, Ralph, I mean Raphael, brought his pickup to work this morning, but he forgot that a hen had been nesting in the back. The hen jumped out after he parked. I think that man is looking for it.”
“He’ll have a little stew tonight, I’ll bet,” chuckled Lynne.
“Oh, no...he’ll give it back.”
“I doubt it. He looked like he could use a good meal.”
“Well,” replied the proprietress of Cookie Du Moi, “I’d give it back if I caught it. Wouldn’t you?”
“Personally, I don’t think I’d spend much time tryin’ to track an escaped chicken through this neighborhood,” said Lynne, still joking.
“Yes, but if she isn’t caught she’ll be lost in the city,” said the lady with mild indignation.
“It’s just a chicken,” observed Lynne.
“But she was kind of a pretty chicken. I’m worried about her.”
Lynne, who had been around the barnyard, said, “Well, maybe she’ll wander into Colonel Sanders Shelter for Homeless Chickens.”
“I sense you are not taking the chicken’s problem seriously.”
After sacking her order, the cookie lady said, “I’m really concerned about your lack of compassion. Chickens have feelings. What if you were missing in the back of a pickup, got hauled to a strange city and got lost?”
“You’ve got a point,” resigned Lynne. “Let’s see if we can get the chicken a lawyer and sue Raphael.”