Talk about fitting for this's a little tale I heard on the Discovery Channel the other day (May 16th, 2001)...


Character: Mike

Species of Main Character: Chicken

Location: Fruita, CO

Fateful Date: September 10, 1945

Results of the May Recognition: A Festival

Festival Date: third weekend in May (currently May 18 & 19 this year)

Reason For Festival: see below if you dare

Now that the build up has been overplayed, let me fill you in on what this is all about.

Mike the Chicken isn't just a regular chicken, he's a headless chicken! Yes, you read right, HEADLESS.

Why is this special? Well here's the story...way back in 1945, there was this chicken (Mike) and a family (the Olsens). The family decided to prepare their dinner for the next evening, main course being Mike. Lloyd Olsen made the trek out to get Mike, sat him down on whatever they use to do the deed, and proceeded to chop off Mike's head. Mike suddenly got up and started walking/running around...without his head! Nothing too out of the ordinary though as I'm told because chickens always go through the shock thing and it's just a muscular thing. Lloyd didn't think anything of it and went back to the house and left Mike to die.

Next morning, Lloyd made his way back to the chicken coupe to retrieve Mike. What did he find? Mike was sitting in his regular corner of the coupe, sleeping with his head tucked under his wing!

Lloyd decided that if this chicken was going to put up a fight to live, he'll not finish him off. This lead to Mike gaining "celebrity" status, touring around with Dolly, the two headed sheep and had people lining up, paying 25 cents each to see Mike, the Headless Chicken. Mike then became a valuable piece of property for Lloyd and was subsequently valued and insured for $10,000.

Mike lived a...let's just say, different, life. A life that lasted a whole 18 months after losing his head.

He was fed with an eye dropper...down his throat.

Feeding Mike

Why did Mike live? Well, according to scientists at the University of Utah, the axe missed Mike's jugular vein and a clot prevented Mike from bleeding to death and most of his brain stem (and an ear) was left attached to his body, thus resulting in Mike living through this trauma.

To mark this remarkable event, the city of Fruita, CO decided to hold an annual festival during the third weekend of May.

All I have to say is...only in the USA!

Mike, the Headless Chicken