The chicken contemplated the long ribbon of black asphalt. The occasional car passed at breakneck speed, certainly faster than any decent bird could fly. The afternoon sun beat down, and the black pavement radiated heat. On the far side, a pleasant meadow beckoned, with handy shade trees. It was so much more attractive than the dusty barnyard it was leaving behind. A dusty barnyard that also included a date with the stew pot.
As it stood there, yet another car interrupted the peaceful afternoon with its noisy and fast bluster. The hen took a step back from the edge, but stopped short of a full retreat. Behind her lay a certain future involving carrots, peas, potatoes, celery, onions, and garlic. Ahead lay a great unknown, an entire world to explore.
Ahead lay hope. Behind was the silent acceptance of the produce or be eaten rules of the barnyard.
She bravely stepped out onto the pavement. Then a few more steps. She was almost to the yellow line at the center when a car passed so close as to disturb her tail feathers. She squawked in outrage and crossed the other half of the road in a flurry of feathers.
Back at the top of the drive, the gentleman farmer chuckled to himself. At this rate, he was going to have the quite the flock of free-ranged hens, all of whom had demonstrated their independence.
Because, everyone loves the taste of freedom.