Not that I’m defensive or anything, but I want you all to know that chicken fever is a well-documented condition. No, this is not a variant of avian flu, but an affliction that strikes just as unexpectedly. The first symptom tends to be the repeated use of the phrase “I think I want chickens” progressing to “I really want chickens” and then, urgently “I must have chickens”. The phrase is commonly used among chickenkeepers, as in “I’d already caught chicken fever and came home with 30 baby chicks” or “I definitely have a case of spring-chicken fever and am building a third coop”. So I’m not the only one out there who has it, just, perhaps, the only one you know.
The disease is not necessarily infectious, which brings me to my point. My British friend, Bernadette, stopped by the other evening to catch up, and, after pouring her a glass of wine, I actually said “Do you want to go sit out and watch the chickens?” There are many possible responses to this invitation, and looking back on it, the obvious one would be “Um, are you out of your freaking mind?!”, but she did not skip a beat, smiled sweetly and said, “Of course”, as if there were NOTHING she would rather do.
She does, however, have Chloe fever. Maybe that’s why she tolerates the chickens. And her slightly ill friend.