It was lying on the counter. A wishbone. A small, dried wishbone from the roasted chicken my mother sent over a couple of days before. My husband saved it and left it on the counter. There it sat–dried. Waiting for a wish. There was a list of things to wish. I could wish for the usual “health, wealth, happiness,” but there were so many aspects to those, and it was just a little wishbone. A little chicken wishbone. How much power could it have? If it were a big turkey, yeah, maybe. It might have more power to get the job done, but just a little chicken wish? I didn’t want to spread it too thin and see it fail.
Health would be a good wish, knock on wood. I ‘m healthy, but I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. How would I know if the wish worked, though, or if I was just destined to stay healthy? Success in the new business–that wouldn’t be bad either. That’s never easy–but again–the team and plan are wonderful, how could they do anything other than succeed? I don’t think they need the chicken bone. Happiness in life–I’m naturally happy, though life has thrown a curve ball now and again. You can’t hit a fast-pitched curve ball with a chicken bone. It would shatter. Waste of a wish.
What do I really need the wish for? Can I save it for later, or would it be too late? A chicken bone is very small. Easy to misplace.
I looked at the chicken bone. I picked it up. There is still a little piece of chicken hanging off to one side. The dog came sniffing. I pushed the bone out of her reach. The thought of using it for luck…it didn’t seem to be a very lucky day for the chicken, who no doubt might have preferred counseling me in person than giving me a bone to snap.
“Listen,” it’d say. “You’re a moron. Dismantling my carcass, drying this bone then ripping it to shreds…how’s that going to bring you anything good?”
“Well…” I’d consider.
“You don’t even eat meat. You’re a vegetarian. You’re a leather-shoe wearing, chicken-cooking, bone-ripping vegetarian.” True enough. I’d never before been chastised by a chicken, but it made perfect sense.
Luck and happiness…they’re all what we make them. We decide we are happy and take advantage of every opportunity life hands us–that’s true luck. Health and wealth…entirely within our control. Treat yourself well, you will be as healthy as possible. Wealth is an artificial construct placed by society as a false value–true wealth is within the heart and soul–that abundant joy that multiplies in our investment in time, helping others, and giving generously of our gifts and love. Success–it is a combination of all of the above.
I conceded to the chicken. It was right. Vegetarians do not need to tear apart chicken bones to ensure greatness. Nor does society at large. We simply have to make that decision. Then act.
I’ll never look at a wishbone in the same way again. Not that I cook anything containing chicken bones, but if I did…
I’ve never been a big one for making wishes. My mother’s saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” turned me off wishing at an early age. As you say, it is all in the action.
I, as a really bad vegetarian, will cook gourmet. All meat EXCEPT: things with heads still on, including (but not limited to…lobster, shrimp that needs deveining, the dried salted fish w head still included…
LOL. I think you’re going to get kicked out of Club Veg.
Maybe. But thankfully, I haven’t seen any PETA people outside my door…