Mike the Headless Chicken
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 100 11:57:44 -0800
Subject: Mike the Headless Chicken
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Mike the Headless Chicken Day
A Colorado town celebrates one plucky fowl.
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By J.A. Getzlaff
It's not too early to begin making plans for Fruita, Colo.'s annual Mike
the Headless Chicken Day festivities.
Each May, the western Colorado town throws this giant fest in fond
remembrance of Mike, a rooster who literally lost his head in 1945 --
and miraculously lived on to achieve fame, if not fortune, as a living,
breathing, headless fowl.
According to the Denver Post, Mike's life changed forever when farmer L.A.
Olsen chose him as the main dish for supper on Sept. 10, 1945.
Nobody knows what went through Mike's head when his owner placed it on the
chopping block and hacked it off, but Olsen sure got a surprise when Mike
stood up and -- bobbing and weaving -- headed back to the barnyard, sans
Mike's nonchalance amazed Olsen, who watched as the headless fryer mingled
with his fellow poultry and attempted to peck at corn kernels.
The farmer decided to keep his prodigy alive and began to feed Mike with
an eyedropper -- he simply dropped food and water into the rooster's exposed
esophagus. He then launched a P.R. campaign to jump-start Mike's career,
and soon the decapitated chicken was touring the country, posing for Life
and Time magazines and garnering a listing in the Guinness Book of Records.
Four-plus years later, Mike's life came to an end when a corn kernel became
lodged in his gullet and he died of asphyxiation.
Fruita has expanded this year's commemorative festivities to two days, May
19 and 20. Scheduled events include a 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken race,
a Find Mike's Head Treasure Hunt -- and, of course, plenty of chicken
Interested? For travel information, visit the Fruita Web site
(http://www.fruita.org/). For more information about the festival itself,
visit the Mike the Headless Chicken site
salon.com | Jan. 6, 2000
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About the writer
J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or
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Copyright (c) 2000 Salon.com All rights reserved.
© 2000 Peter Langston