Paltry Poultry Parenting

, , , , , | Legal | August 12, 2019

(I’m visiting a family-run petting zoo and farm shop. The animals here are for show only; none are for sale and can only be accessed when out for petting demos. We’re checking out with some jars of honey at the farm shop when we hear a big commotion in the petting area. A shouting man holding a chick runs out, followed by a crying child and a frantic farm worker.)

Man: “We just want a g**d*** chicken! Piss off and leave us alone!”

Farm Worker: “Please, stop! You’re hurting him! Put him down!”

(The cashier abandons our order and tries to block the exit as the man runs through, leaving his crying child in the shop area. Both employees run out after him; there’s shouting and pleading from outside. Then, there is the sound of doors slamming and a car speeding out of the car park. I walk over with my daughter and try and console the crying child who’s asking for his mum. After a few tense minutes, the employees come back with the chick, but no man. The farm worker takes the chick to be looked at, leaving us with the now-calm child.)

Cashier: “Uh, he just left? What do we do now?”

Me: “Do you know your Mummy’s phone number, sweetheart?”

Child: “Y-Yes, it’s [phone number], but D-Daddy said I can’t call her; she’s too busy for me.”

Cashier: “I’ll make the call. Can you stay with him?”

Me: “Sure. Come on, sweetheart. Shall we look at the picture books?”

(Within fifteen minutes, a frantic mum ran in and grabbed the child into a massive hug. Apparently, this was the dad’s first court-issued independent visit with the child since being released from prison, and she’d been worried sick the entire time he’d had him: only an hour and a half total. We all handed a written report to the police, and we were assured by them and the mum that it would be the last time the guy saw the child alone, if at all!)

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