The lawyer turned, tapping his fingernails with a pen, his eyes made more alive by a grin that could only be described as show-stealing. With the pen he pointed at an angry-looking overweight man with tattoos covering his body. The lawyer stared at the jury.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," he began, little flecks of saliva stringing from his mouth, "would you say that my defendant, who is accused of driving over, and then backing over, an entire troop of boy scouts, is a chicken?"
The jury mumbled in an uncomfortable shudder. They didn't want to incur the wrath of this angry gentleman with the tattoos. The lawyer grinned larger than before.
"No," he said, shaking his head, "not a coward, but rather a real chicken. A two-legged bird who clucks and struts around a barnyard looking for seeds?"
The jury laughed nervously at the comment. The grin stole a little more of the show.
"But if I dropped a chicken into a nuclear testing site at ground zero and detonated an atomic bomb that could destroy New York City five times over, would the chicken not die?"
They nodded. Of course, they grumbled. The tattooed man snarled.
"And if I dropped the defendant on said ground zero and detonated said atomic bomb capable of destroying New York City five times over, would he not die?"
They nodded again, a little more perplexed than the average jury.
"So," he continued, "if both the chicken would die in said detonation and my defendant would die in same detonation, is my defendant not a chicken, from all points shown?"
The jury nodded. They had to admit the logic of it. Given the similarities, he might be considered a chicken. The lawyer smiled wider.
"So do you realize that you are accusing my defendant, already proved to be a domesticated barnyard fowl, of vehicular manslaughter? A chicken cannot press down on a pedal hard enough to hit a troop of boy scouts! A chicken doesn't have the hands to turn a steering wheel. In closing, I implore you, please do not send a helpless chicken to jail. Thank you."
The lawyer sat down next to the growling tattooed man. The judge stood up and applauded.
"Bravo! Bravo! That was an excellent piece of defending, counselor! Does the prosecution want to make any feeble attempt to stop this chicken from going free?" The judge turned to the prosecutor, a rather attractive woman who was wearing a professional dress. The prosecutor was crying in a heap, sucking her thumb on her desk, rocking back and forth.
"Chickens! Chuh-chuc-Chickens! Hundreds and hundreds of chickens," she drooled.
The judge turned to the jury. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I think I speak for you when I say that you don't need to deliberate. We must let this chicken go!" The jury, indeed, the whole courtroom, broke into applause. The tattooed man spat on the floor. The lawyer stood up and bowed. The judge banged his gavel.
"Unanimously decided. Not Guilty! And thank you, Mister Defendant, for not allowing this travesty of justice to take place. For God's sake, we must let the chickens be!"
The lawyer smiled.
"Amen, your honor. Amen." n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.