The Allegory of the Chicken and the Pilates Class ... by C.L. Beck

Photo © Mindaugas Urbonas, Wikimedia Commons

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a bird who thought she was in pretty good shape, especially considering the fact that she was no longer a spring chick. Or even a mature hen. Being half a century old, she was more like a tough ol’ bird. (Wow. Half a century. Seriously … putting it that way makes me her sound really ancient!)

At any rate, one day while walking with her friend, Irma—who was still pretty much a cute, young chick—they talked about taking a Pilates class.

Irma’s blue eyes reflected anxiety. “I’m not so sure about doing that. It sounds like you’d have to be really fit to try it. Plus, I don’t think I have the chicken feed to pay for it.”

But, the Ol’ Bird didn’t notice Irma’s apprehension because she was too busy preening her feathers and admiring the shape of her own drumsticks. They looked pretty dang good, for being a half-century old. Then the Ol’ Bird stooped to tie a shoelace that straggled from her shoe, and ….

What? Yes, I know chickens don’t wear shoes, but this story is what my skilled writing compatriots call an extreme load of baloney allegory, so I’m allowed to write it however I want.

Back to the story … the Ol’ Bird stooped to tie a shoelace that straggled from her shoe, and in a muffled voice—which she felt certain came from having such a plump chicken chest, but actually resulted from her not-so-firm stomach pushing against her diaphragm until she couldn’t breathe—said, “It’s a cinch. You lie on the floor on a soft mat, listen to music played on a sitar, and stretch a little. You can do that, Irma! And the first class is free, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough chicken feed.”

As the Ol’ Bird stood back up, she felt a slight twinge in her hamstring. Which probably, technically, should be called a chickenstring. Rubbing the back side of her fat muscular chicken thigh, she said “Ouch, wait a second. I’ve got a hitch in my get-along.”

It should have been a warning to the Ol’ Bird.

After a few minutes of gentle massage, the hitch eased and they resumed walking. Despite apparent reservations, Irma agreed to try the class and so the following day, off we went to Pilates. Umm, I mean they went to Pilates.

The trouble is, neither of them had a mat. And neither of them liked sitar music. Luckily, it wasn’t played in the class, anyway. If memory serves me correctly—which it couldn’t since this is an allegory and I wasn’t supposed to be there—the Pilates Chicken played country western music.

As it turned out, the Ol’ Bird wasn’t especially fond of country music. She would have preferred something along the lines of the 1960s era Beatles. Which is not exactly “music to do Pilates by,” either. Irma, however, seemed to enjoy the melodies.

And then there was the twisting. The Ol’ Bird discovered that despite her shapely drumsticks, plump chest, and preened feathers, she wasn’t in nearly the limber shape she’d thought previously. Her chickenstrings hurt like heck, and her back had a crick in it from all that twisting. Irma, though, had no trouble holding the poses, looking as if she were born that way.

“Work with your core colors,” the Pilates Chicken stated. Irma’s face took on a dreamy look. The Ol’ Bird had no clue what her core colors were, unless she counted red for blood and yellow for the little bit of chicken fat she was certain she didn’t have. So instead, she conjured green for the grass that needed to be mowed, pink for the flowers that needed weeding, and brown for the hamburger in the fridge that needed browning.

“Relax, clear your mind and center your being,” the Pilates Chicken intoned. Irma became motionless, tranquil. The Ol’ Bird, however, fell off the mat which the Pilates Chicken had so kindly loaned her.

When the class finished, the Ol’ Bird could barely walk. With bedraggled feathers and a pulled chickenstring, she limped out of the building, while her friend looked happy and refreshed. In fact, Irma clucked on and on about how much she enjoyed the experience until the Ol’ Bird became so exasperated she gave Irma a sharp rap on the head with her beak. Then the Ol’ Bird went home and soaked her sore muscles in a hot bird bath every night for a week, and vowed never to exercise again.

And so now you know the allegory of the chicken and the Pilates class.

What? You think there should be a moral to the story? Okay, how about this … no matter how fit you think you are, birds of a feather should never do Pilates together.

------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

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Melanie said...

Ohhhhh!!!! Yes! Your moral is genius. That ol'hen should peck her eggxercise friends more carefully.

Hermana Maw said...

So funny. What a great story. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing that "Ol' chicks" are loved for their wit and wisdom more than for their athleticism.
Thank you for the great laughs!
Rosa Griffin

Triple Nickel said...

Now I know why the chicken crossed the street. To get to the physical therapist!
Great Blog!!!

Melinda said...

Oh man, that was funny!

Unknown said...

Sigh.... You are just priceless!! The visuals this "allegory" prompts are too hilarious:)

P.S. Did you happen to try Pilates?!...:)


Cathy said...

Didn't she get a hot loaf of bread at the end or was that another story.
You crack me up, Cindy.

Cindy Beck, author said...

Oh ha, Mel! You are eggstra funny today! :) Thanks for stopping by and clucking ... er, I mean commenting!

G. Parker said...

I tell ya, Pilates is evil incarnate. You should try Zumba! lol

Valerie Ipson said...

Oh, my heck, so funny! I loved it!

(I'm nearing half a century, so I'll definitely heed the allegory's message.)

Mary said...

I was interested in how old the ol' chick was. "The Allegory of the Chicken and the Pilates Class will stand all time and become a classic. (send it off to some magazine.) What a hoot!