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This Rescue Chicken Changed Her Son’s Life

She stepped in to help the lonely chicken but never expected what came next.

Henrietta the chicken

I got out of the car that rainy Tuesday, already tired, and headed toward the rehab center where I work as an addiction counselor. It had been a difficult morning with my seven-year-old son, Adrian, who has severe ADD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). By the building entrance, something caught my eye. A chicken. Where did she come from? Did she belong to someone?

None of my coworkers knew anything about it. But a client told me the chicken had been hanging around the last few nights. At the end of my shift, I saw the chicken in the same spot, cold and wet. “Go find your family,” I said.

All night I worried about her. What if a coyote got her? It rained the next morning. No sign of the chicken. I figured she went home. But I stepped out for my afternoon break, and there she was, getting rained on again. I offered her some bread. She refused it and just stood there, staring up at me.

Halfway home that evening, I made a U-turn and went back to the rehab. I picked up the chicken and drove home with her in my lap, her beak on my shoulder the entire ride.

I posted on Facebook and our neighborhood app, asking if anyone had lost a chicken. A week went by, then another. No one claimed her. My rescue made herself at home—even laying eggs in the hay blanketing the crate I’d set up on our back patio.

The biggest surprise was how Adrian took to her. His ADD and ODD make him touchy and prone to tantrums. But not with the chicken, whom he named Henrietta. She follows him around the house and sits in his lap. I’ve never seen Adrian so calm—and happy. The bond between them has been such a blessing. I can’t remember the last time he and I had a difficult morning. That rainy Tuesday, I told the chicken to find her family. Little did I know it would turn out to be us!

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