Pearl has been introduced to quite a few kids lately. One neighbor's granddaughters were visiting, and Pearl was offered up as the representative chicken--she was petted and held and passed around. Then yesterday, there was an 8-year-old and 5-year-old visiting our other neighbor, and when invited to come over and see the hens close up they ran through the flock like coyotes, until L had them sit on the bench and said she'd bring them a hen to visit (Pearl). I think if they'd had baby doll clothes at hand, Pearl would have been walking around in a dress, but lucky for her, there were no opportunities for chicken clothing.
She has not laid an egg in weeks, and her eggs are tiny. And as K pointed out, it's not like she'd make a roaster, either. So as chickens go, she's got a tenuous hold on the whole food production part of chickenhood. In fact, if we were serious chicken folk, she'd have been culled as a non-productive hen.
But as ambassadors go, Pearl is, well, a gem. She sits patiently, is content being held, never panics, pecks, or scratches. She lets L carry her around. She doesn't pick on the younger chickens, but no one in the flock pushes her around since she stands her ground.
And so when we wanted a chicken to sit next to a rabbit on the porch swing, Pearl was the obvious choice. She might not look big and fluffy like the big matronly hens, but she makes up for all of that with her big chicken spirit.