Anyone who knows me will know about my crippling ornithophobia. Basically, I hate birds (apart from ducks, penguins and tiny finches). Yet I went to a farm recently and managed to hold a tiny chicken.

It was a chick rather than a chicken but not a tiny, cute, yellow one. This was a teenage, scrawny thing with flappy wings that were terrifying even when I wasn’t holding it.

My friend Mitch took it first and showed me how to hold it – one hand under the feet, one on the top holding the wings down. Encouraged (or shamed into it, more like) by the little girl next to me who said, kindly, “it doesn’t hurt”, I took the chicken … AND HELD IT. There is photographic evidence of what was quite a big deal for me.

Then I went into the chicken coop and stroked a quiet, adult chicken. I am a GODDAMN LEGEND.

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