At least I don’t have hyenas for pets.

There are some friends of mine who think that having chickens in my backyard is strange. Seriously. Everything from blank stares to uncomfortable pauses followed by a “wow…” that trails off into some other discussion. The number of times I get asked “what do you have chickens for?” is quite astounding considering that each person in this country consumes 250 eggs per year(two eggs every third day) and 53 pounds of chicken (that’s about a drumstick a day). Regardless of the (unenlightened) crazed looks I may sometimes receive from friends and acquaintances, nothing compares to this.

This family in Syria keeps hyenas as pets. Now, I once spent the night on the Serengeti in Tanzania while studying there. Me and 26 other people were camped out in a circle, only to be woken to the most devilish cry from the depths of hell I have ever heard in my short three-decade life, coming from a full-grown smiling, big-eared animal seen above. I can’t imagine waking up to that on a regular basis, and if my neighbors and friends knew just how terrible that sound was, they would be overwhelmingly thanking me for my choice of backyard chickens. But from now on when I get strange looks about raising chickens for eggs, compost, and entertainment, I will say, “well at least I don’t have hyenas for pets.” That’ll make ’em think.

This saying will surely join “it’s hotter than the inside of a live chicken!” in its place as a colloquial, well-read opinion on the general state of things. I now give it to the blogging world as but a small contribution to an ever growing sea of knowledge that helps us get through our day. You’re welcome world.


One thought on “At least I don’t have hyenas for pets.

  1. Jeffrey says:

    I once camped in the Namibian desert. Our party was searching for a white rhino, we traveled on foot while camels carried our gear. We had to tents and slept on the ground. The first time I got in my sleeping bag for the night, my South African guide and host urged me to turn around with my head as close to the fire as possible- just as he was doing. This was because during the night, when the fifteen to thirty hungry hyenas came by to investigate us as potential dinner, they would probably pass us over due to the fire. If they grabbed our toes and tried to drag us we could fight back. But if our heads were out there they would be happy to have at their favorite parts- the lips are what they would fight over first- then the rest of the face. Apparently our lips are the sweetest meat on our bodies. we heard their hideous laugh in the dark, and could see many pairs of red eyes when shining a light outward… I love animals but would much rather hug a chicken than the filthy, carrion eating, ugly looking hyena. Even their babies are not so cute… Fascinating to observe, their social world and skill at killing and all that. . I never heard of anyone who care much for them… until now… thanks…

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