Animals often reflect the best parts of humanity.” This truth settled upon my heart as I pondered upon the unique and heartwarming story of two birds – a rooster and a hen. A tale not of might or competition but of love, compassion, and the bonds that animals share.
In my days as a veterinarian, I’ve witnessed many bonds between animals. There were the usual dog and cat friendships and sometimes the more unusual ones, like a dog and a squirrel or a cat and a bird. But the story of Shrimp the rooster and Basil the hen is unique and heartwarming.
Shrimp, contrary to what many might imagine a rooster to be, isn’t a fighter. He isn’t aggressive or territorial. Instead, he’s sweet, gentle, and unfortunately, sometimes bullied by others in the yard. But adversity often leads to unexpected friendships. Among the many animals on the ranch, Shrimp’s heart was captivated by Basil, a hen who had seen better days. Basil had lost a leg due to an infection, requiring a walker for mobility. Yet, her story is one of survival and resilience, having escaped being someone’s dinner.
For some reason, these two souls clicked. Maybe they saw a kindred spirit in each other; maybe it was just fate. Shrimp adored Basil. In acts of simple, everyday gallantry, he’d wait for Basil to eat before he would and would fetch berries for her. And Basil? Despite her general aversion to other chickens, she welcomed Shrimp’s company, reciprocating his affection.
Now, you might be tempted to dismiss their bond as mere animal behavior. But it’s much more than that. Chickens, despite being often underappreciated, are incredibly intelligent creatures. They display a wide range of emotions, have good memory and cognition, and can be as complex as many other animals we consider “intelligent.” Chickens have feelings, and the story of Shrimp and Basil is a testament to that.
Their owner, Amanda, recognizes the depth and complexity of chickens, highlighting a pressing issue: many of us have become disconnected from the animals we see at the grocery store. The meat on our plate was once a living, feeling being. Chickens, like Shrimp and Basil, have the capacity for love, friendship, and joy. Their lives matter.
Next time you encounter a chicken or any other animal, I urge you to look a little closer, listen a little more intently, and remember the story of Shrimp and Basil. Animals have so much to teach us about love, resilience, and life itself.
I invite you to watch the video of Shrimp and Basil’s heartwarming relationship and share their story with your friends and family. Let’s spread the message that every animal, big or small, has a story worth telling and a life worth living. And if this story touched your heart, consider supporting animal welfare initiatives in your community. Because every creature deserves love and compassion.