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Not Fido. Froney.

Chickens can be pets, too, as one plucky girl made clear.

Dear Sylvan Lorenz:

I learn from our newspaper that, somewhere beyond the shadowlands of Worcester, there is a place called Easthampton. And that in this mystic land, you, at the age of 10, recently won a great legal victory in front of the city's zoning board. You won the right to keep four chickens in your yard. I note that your hens were named Froney, Guinevere, Gurley, and Mable, which seem to me to be strange monikers for chickens. (If there's a rooster named Lancelot anywhere about, I'd keep him away from Guinevere, unless you want to grow up to write Le Poulet d'Arthur.) Then again, the only chickens I know by name are the San Diego and the Kentucky Fried. I'm obviously no expert in what to name chickens.

I was most struck by the fact that it was argued by your opponents that you had violated a zoning regulation regarding the keeping of farm animals on your property. However, you and your allies successfully made the case that the chickens were, in fact, pets and that, therefore, you had as much right to keep them there as you would have had to keep a dog or a cat. I am perfectly willing in my heart to admit that almost anything can be a pet. I have friends who keep pythons. I have seen well-turned-out yuppies walking ferrets on a leash. Fox News Channel has Alan Colmes. I wouldn't want to be the person to say that, for instance, Froney can exist only to give us a) her eggs, and b) her legs, lightly battered. Not me.

Sit, Gurley. Good chicken.

Charles P. Pierce

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