Chickens are a part of everyday life. We eat them every day (except for Vogue who will not eat anything that could be considered tasty). Chickens also give us eggs and curry. I have killed a chicken before, when I was much younger, and so I feel I know them better than other animals in a way. But there is an incredible story about a chicken that I would like to tell you.

Once there was a chicken called Mike. Actually, he had no name, but he would be given a name once he became famous for having his head chopped off and surviving for two years. (I hope I have not ruined the story.)

Mike was going to be beheaded in his home town in America, on a farm. The farmer who had the axe cut his head off, but he did not cut the jugular vein, which is usually the killer blow. The next morning, the farmer came back to find the body of the chicken running around with its head lying on some straw.

The chicken kept on going, and believe it or not it lived for two years without a head! They called the chicken Mike, because it was previously just known as “that chicken”. You can read more details about how it lived here.

I think if a story like this happened in rural Limpopo or KwaZulu-Natal, the international press wouldn’t believe it. There are many strange stories about animals in South African media, and sometimes it’s hard to know what is true and what is people causing trouble. For example, I remember a few years ago there was a case of a goat called Xolani, who could talk. Things did not end well for Xolani.

For most people I know, the only other notable talking animal is the talking lion called Jesus in The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Of course, this was complete fiction, not based on fact – Jesus did not actually exist, as a lion.

But apparently a chicken that lived for two years is plausible!