Why Chickens have Combs

Do you know why chickens have combs? Let me tell you.

Once, a chicken was invited to a chicken party. She put on her favourite feathery dress and admired herself in some well water.

BLesaca ChickenCombEiya! How ugly her bald head looked. She couldn't go looking like that!

That's when she remembered her friend the eagle. She had a beautiful red hat. Maybe she'd let the chicken borrow it.

The eagle was a kind bird so she lent it.

At the party, all the other birds gathered around to compliment the chicken on how lovely she looked. Back home after the party, she looked at her reflection again. Eiya! Too bad she had to return the hat.

So she decided not to. Instead, she hid it, and waited.

Seven days passed until the eagle flew by. The chicken bowed her bald head, and said, "When I see you, I blush with shame. Because when I was walking back from the party, a strong wind rushed down from the mountain and blew your hat away."

The eagle nodded, seeming to believe the lie.

"If you insist I return your hat, have my two legs as a replacement. After all, it was they who walked over to borrow from you."

The kind eagle replied, "No, no. What good would that do?"

But a few weeks later, the eagle was flying high in the sky when she spotted something red. She flew lower. The red dot became a spot. It was her hat, worn by the chicken! The eagle's eyes glowed red.

She swooped down and grabbed the hat. But the chicken held it so tightly, it stayed on her head, as if glued. The eagle's claws tore it to shreds.

All that remained was a jagged mess of the eagle's hat, which is now called a chicken's comb.


This tale is loosely based on an ancient Naxi tribe legend.

Illustrated by Bianca Lesaca



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