In case you haven’t heard, a chicken was rather mysteriously apprehended last week while wandering around in a high security area at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The Rhode Island Red hen was found near the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters, and officials said they don’t know where it came from or how it got there. They also said they couldn’t be specific about its location when it was found, because the area was a security checkpoint that can’t be disclosed.

Wow, how in the heck did a chicken end up in an area of the Pentagon that can’t even be revealed? While the answer to that question might be hard to come by, I’d say that in this day and age of rapidly advancing technology, it would be unwise to assume that this was a random occurrence, and that the chicken simply got lost while trying to go from its pen to its feeding trough. On the contrary, the average chicken these days could easily be equipped to perform some form of covert mission.

Was it on a solo sortie designed to put the U.S. and the rest of the West in a position of weakness? Was it a decoy creating a distraction while valuable information was being gleaned by a goose in another even more important area or room?

It’s at least intriguing, and perhaps even a precursor of impending danger.

What the report about the chicken doesn’t make clear is whether anything of interest was found on (or in) it.

In turn, we don’t know if it had a small camera in its red comb and was gathering intel for Russian president Vladimir Putin or a high-ranking henchman in his military.

We don’t know if it had tiny satellite uplink gear in its wattles and was sending images and audio to a leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

And we don’t know if the Taliban or ISIS has deployed a new method of infiltrating the heart and soul of the inner-workings of “the infidels.”

No, given the lack of information shared about her, we can’t be sure if this bird was truly a threat to national security or a harbinger of bad things to come. But I think something we can be sure of is the simple fact this chicken was where it was can’t be ignored.

That would be like seeing a Chinese submarine in New York Harbor and figuring NYC Ferry had begun offering a new passenger option, or observing a formation of Russian bombers over Los Angeles and assuming there must be an air show in progress.

Anyway, the clandestine chicken was named Henny Penny and was adopted by a Department of Defense staff member who has a small farm nearby in Virginia.

But having contemplated the situation, I’m not so sure Ms. Penny shouldn’t become that staff member’s dinner. There’s just something about the whole thing that seems fishy, and I don’t believe every chicken found wandering in a high-security area of a major government facility should be blindly trusted these days.

I mean, what’s next? Will a Jersey Giant rooster be found inside the Oval Office in the White House? Will a Cochin hen be found in the Senate chamber?

Let’s face it: You just can’t be too careful these days.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email:

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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