The author of this allegory, a Bob Jones University abuse survivor who identifies herself as “Elder Chick,” has said, “What little spark of faith I still had died during the fallout of the GRACE investigation.” She now classifies herself as a “pessimistic agnostic.”
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
The Three Little Chicks and the Rooster
Once upon a time there were three little chicks named Elder, Middlemost and Tiny, the youngest. All the chicks lived happy lives and played only on their small farm, where they went to chicken church. They also went to their chicken school, where they studied Accelerated Chicken Education. They were very good chicks and always obeyed the older hens and roosters, as they were taught.
One day a new rooster came to the farm to run the chicken school. And such a rooster! His feathers were shiny and black, and his wattle was bigger than any other rooster around. His crow in the morning could be heard for miles. His name was Pecker and he was a most respected rooster from Brood Clones University. Every chick knew that Brood Clones was the best—really, the only—only place to go for their chicken-studies degree.
“Let me teach you the things that all little chicks should know,” he said. So the chicks listened to what he said (being very obedient chicks, you see) since Pecker was such a smart, respected rooster.
But one day Pecker said to them, “You are all very good chicks and do what the big chickens tell you. Because of this, I will tell you a secret,” he said. “I am not really a rooster, but a chicken hawk in disguise. I won’t eat you, as long as you give me everything I want and don’t tell the other chickens.”
At first, Pecker didn’t want much. The choicest worm dug up in the yard, or perhaps a juicy grasshopper. But the three little chicks also owned many shiny things they had found in the barnyard, and as his greed grew over the years, soon the three little chicks had nothing left to call their own. Pecker punished them terribly, and even stole from them on trips to Brood Clones, where he was still a student earning his advanced degree in chicken-studies.
Elder chick graduated chicken school and left for Brood Clones, but soon learned that chicken-studies were not for her. She left for another farm far, far away. Then, Middlemost went to Brood Clones, leaving poor Tiny alone at the farm with the evil chicken hawk.
One day, Tiny saw Pecker try to steal from yet another tiny chick. Tiny was brave, so she warned the chicken church that Pecker was really a chicken hawk in disguise. The chicken church was astounded that a chicken hawk had lived among them for years. Pecker disappeared that very night when confronted with his thieving.
The chicken church called Brood Clones University to tell them of the unmasked chicken hawk and to ask them what they should do. “You helped us buy our farm. We and our chicks all study at your chicken university. Tell us what we should do.”
So Brood Clones went across the yard to their own henhouse and confirmed with Middlemost that it was true Pecker was really a chicken hawk. They told her “Don’t worry—he will be banned from the chicken yard here.” To the chicken church, Brood Clones said, “We can see how you might be upset that Pecker stole so much from your chicks. So we think you should tell the next farm he goes to that he is really a chicken hawk, but be sure not to tell them what he stole. After all, those young chicks shouldn’t have had those shiny things for Pecker to steal in the first place, so it’s really their fault. And be sure not to tell the chicken police, as we don’t want them to think our farm is full of chicken hawks.”
So that’s what the chicken church did. They called the first farm Pecker moved to and told them Pecker was really a thieving chicken hawk. Pecker then moved to another farm, and when they told that farm, they were surprised to learn that Pecker had already told them he was a chicken hawk. Relieved, the chicken church then left it up to Pecher’s new farm to ensure he behaved as a true rooster, and not the chicken hawk that he actually was.
When it was Tiny’s turn to go to Brood Clones, she again warned them about Pecker (and she was still a very young chick then—too young to vote in the chicken elections).
Many years went by. One day, Elder Chick (now a full-grown hen) saw Pecker at a farm a few towns away. She worried that the farm didn’t know he wasn’t a real rooster. She asked a respected hen from her childhood farm to let Pecker’s new farm know that they had a chicken hawk among them, and that Pecker should not be allowed to teach chicks at their chicken school. They said, “We know he is a chicken hawk and a thief, but he looks and acts like such a nice, respected rooster. So, since he said he was sorry for stealing, we will let him continue to teach our chicks, and we will choose to believe he is indeed a rooster.”
Alarmed, Elder called Tiny and discovered that there were also many other chicken hawks disguised as roosters in farms all over. Many of the farms had been built by Brood Clones University. Brood Clones said, “We don’t have chicken hawks here,” but chickens from all over asked them to double check to make sure.
So, after making sure their chicken yard was presentable and quite clean of any chicken hawk droppings, Brood Clones asked the geese (being the wisest and most impartial of fowl) to visit their farm and make sure they had kept all the chicks there safe from chicken hawks. Elder, Middlemost, and Tiny all bravely came forward and spoke with the geese, as well as the chicken police, about Pecker’s deception.
The geese reported to Brood Clones, “We found many, many chicken hawks disguised as roosters. Even worse is that your own roosters knew who they were and they didn’t warn the other farms or tell the chicken police. We’re now going to tell you how you can make sure your chicks don’t get robbed anymore—we can show you ways how to tell a real rooster from a chicken hawk.”
But Brood Clones responded, “Our roosters and hens are the wisest of all the farms. We have our own fences and sturdy coops. All our roosters are roosters and not chicken hawks.” And they ignored the wise words of the geese. The chicken police also visited the farm, but found nothing but clean chicken yards and sparkling coops.
So Pecker stayed at the farm, taught at the chicken school, and remained a much respected rooster there—until he ate all the chickens.