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We present to you The Great Escape, but with a chicken

Illustration for article titled We present to you iThe Great Escape/i, but with a chicken
Photo: Bjoern Kaas / EyeEm (Getty Images)

Some chickens were just born to be free.

Reba Matthews, a chicken from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, had had enough of her comfortable suburban life. She’d never heard any stories about the world outside her front yard, because she’s a chicken and chickens have a limited grasp of language, but oh, could she dream. She knew there had to be more to life than simply strutting around a well-manicured lawn, hanging out with the same two chickens every single day. She thought about simply crossing the road to get to the other side, but that sort of thing is for basic chickens, and Reba Matthews is no basic chicken. Reba Matthews is a star! Reba Matthews is the kind of chicken that inspires screenplays and country songs, the kind that dreams big and grabs the attention of food-centric publications like this one!

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On July 1, Reba’s human overlords ordered groceries via Instacart, and upon seeing the driver’s open trunk the chicken knew that it was finally time to leave her life behind. She hopped into the trunk, laid low, and became invisible until the driver returned and drove her straight to freedom.

She was gone nearly four hours before her humans noticed her absence, and they immediately feared the worst, as humans are wont to do. They suspected the wily local foxes, or perhaps it was the stealthy neighborhood hawks... everything except a vehicular escape. But Reba had forgotten to factor in one crucial element, which would lead to her undoing: the Matthews had a doorbell camera, and that camera caught the whole damn thing:

After reviewing the tape, human Justin Matthews quickly contacted Instacart, which put him in touch with the delivery driver. The driver had shuttled Reba to the safest possible place for a chicken—Costco—and discovered her when he popped open the truck and she ran for it like a bat out of hell. Figuring it was a prank, the driver let Reba go while presumably planning revenge on that one friend of his who’s always pissing everyone off with surprise chickens. All he could tell Matthews is that Reba was free, living out her dreams in a Costco parking lot.

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The Matthews family immediately drove down to Costco to rescue Reba, but they got some bad news: Reba had escaped again.

“The parking lot attendants said ‘yes omg we did see your fat chicken running around the lot for a while but some ladies scooped her up about 11 and took her,’” wrote Matthews on Facebook, in a public plea to find the women who were sheltering a fugitive chicken. After 2,000 shares, 78,000 views, and a special report from the local news (again, Reba is a star), the Matthews family was able to locate the women who had saved Reba from a fate of “death by shopping cart” and taken her 170 miles west to the wide open spaces of Del Rio, Texas. She was allowed to have a few days to soak up the change of scenery before she was brought back home to Fair Oaks Ranch. Yes, there’s a big wide world out there to explore, but even for a chicken, there really is no place like home.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

grandmuffintarkin
Grand Muffin Tarkin

The Great Escape, but with a chicken.

I’ve seen that movie. It’s pretty good.