Family Values – The Story of CMRCA Adopting a Chicken

kao_gum_final_small_09CMRCA has a habit of developing into a home away from home for many people, and often becomes an out-right home for others. Whether it’s dropping by for a cup of coffee, a bouldering session, a place to watch movies or to listen to climbing tales (the run-out was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big). It doesn’t take much to get climbers talking about climbing. Community has always been one of CMRCA’s core values.  Part of this is welcoming everyone into their large, extended but extremely kind and caring family. Recently they have widened their perimeters or at least my perception of them by taking under their wings the newest member – Kao Gum. Distinct from other members of the family and team by being a chicken.

This story begins at the Crazy Horse Crag’s car park on December 2nd 2010: Kao Gum’s birthday. When a chick is hatched the mother helps the newborns along, which are not yet strong enough themselves. She does this by pecking away enough of the shell to allow the chick to escape into the world. However, Kao Gum’s egg was left alone and ignored by the mother after she made only a solitary hole. Unlike her golden yellow siblings, Kao Gum was instead born an unwanted black chick and a slightly raggedy one at that. Fortunately for Kao Gum this tragedy did not go unnoticed. Keeping a watchful eye on the hatching was Crazy Horse guardian Loong Anan and realising that one egg had been abandoned he went to Kao Gum’s aid. Along with Pi’Pum they provided a little opening in the egg to give Kao Gum a way into the world. However, it was too late for Kao Gum’s mother, her mind was already made up so her unwanted chick was left at nature’s mercy. Pi’Pum was unable to leave Kao Gum to her fate and so she adopted her, and together they moved back to CMRCA’s shop, where she lived on the desk under the warmth of Pi’Pum’s affection and an incubation lamp. Quickly going from strength to strength, Kao Gum has flourished under her care at CMRCA and is now a healthy, happy and strong young chick.

Kao Gum shares her signature colour with her namesake: kao gum, a type of sticky rice that is mixed with black sesame seeds giving it it’s distinctive colour. When she’s not perched a la mode pirate style on some one’s shoulder, she can be found roaming the crag car park or hanging out at the bouldering gym. At night she is taken home by her adopted parents Phi and Pum, who are now fairly certain she is girl. Thankful too, for not having a rooster living in their house, as one alarm clock is enough let alone one without any time settings or a snooze button.

The future for Kao Gum looks like she will stay with CMRCA till she is able to take care of her self in the wild. When the other chicks leave the care of their mother and make their own way in the world, which should be in six or so months time. Kao Gum will be taken back the Crazy Horse and released. Though perhaps she might receive some slight favoritism with the odd ‘accidentally’ dropped bit of lunch.

Climb On!