I anxiously waited for 21 days, hoping the eggs would hatch successfully. Finally, the day came. When they started to crack, I watched as little yellow chicks pushed with all their might to get themselves out of their eggs and start their new lives. I wondered what was ahead for them. It reminded me of how my parents struggled as Asians to start their new lives in the US. I am sure that they wondered: “Would their new lives be easy or difficult? Would people accept them? Would language be a problem?” My family made a great life in America but not all Asian immigrants are so lucky. Some struggle to make money while others have trouble fitting in. Not every immigrant story has a happy ending. The same was true for my chicks. One was stuck in his egg and, even though I got him out, he died. I knew that I did all I could to save him but sometimes life is hard. My dream is to become a doctor and help people who need it. The experience of freeing the chick from its egg gave me a stronger understanding of what it takes to become a doctor. Sometimes I will be able to help but things might not always go the way I plan.

With the remaining chicks safely nestled in a brooder, I began to make observations. I noticed that the chicks made friends quickly and then stuck together for companionship, warmth, and help. That is exactly what Asian American communities for their members. They take care of each other, look after their neighbors, watch for problems and sound warnings when there is danger. People and chicks learn from their peers and respond to peer pressure. I saw the younger chicks follow the example of the older ones. They all worked hard to become strong and quickly established a pecking order. Humans have rank, too. This is true of Asian parents who do all they can to make their children strong, independent and successful.

Human and animal experiences have a lot in common when they begin a new life. Chicks breaking out of their shells and immigrants in a new country have unknown futures. When I am a doctor I want to help people so their lives will be good and their stories will have happy endings.

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2 thoughts on “Things My Baby Chicks Taught Me”
  1. I love this piece! It drew from parallel observations on Asian American experiences and new chicks’ experiences. It naturally dwelled into the community spirits and their positive values, and more importantly, how these values have a formative effect on the author growing up into a person with a mission and passion to help others. The prose style is quite fluid and the essay handles fairly complex concepts with ease. It’s an excellent essay from a 4th grader.

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