Port Shepstone – A chicken that was thrown into the sea as part of a traditional ritual in Port Shepstone has ended up with all the luck after it emerged unscathed, and with a safe new home.
Warrant Officer Marc Wiid, of the police’s search and rescue unit, was doing his usual patrol along the beachfront in the south coast town in KwaZulu-Natal, last week when he came upon a strange sight.
In the shallow water he found a shivering white hen that was barely breathing.
He also noticed white candles that had washed up on the beach.
Without hesitation, he wrapped the half-drowned hen in his towel and rushed off to the vet.
Miraculously, the hen emerged with a clean bill of health, veterinary surgeon Dr Claire Norton told News24 on Wednesday.
“We treated it for mites. After a couple of days, it has made itself at home and is now part of the practice,” she said, laughing.
Norton said flowers were apparently also found at the scene.
“It seems to be part of some ceremony where people take their bad luck and put the bad luck onto these poor chickens. They throw these chickens into the sea. This poor chicken washed up and was sopping wet.”
The lucky bird was named Cuckoo but was also known by several other names, including Chicken and Amanzi (water).
She had a slight case of separation anxiety and would become very upset if left alone.
When dogs came to visit, someone would pick the hen up and take her to another area.
The practice’s resident cat was not too pleased, and a little bit fearful, of the latest arrival.
“Everybody who comes here is quite enamoured with her,” said Norton.
“I think someone put their good luck on the chicken, not their bad luck.” DM