I once had a chicken who ate my dog. I don’t know why, but the dog was small, and the chicken was, well, big. Very big infact. After eating my admittedly small dog, it went on to eat my canary, a pair of hamsters and my youngest child.
Needless to say I was appalled. I kept a close eye on it after that, in the fear that it might really overstep its bounds and need to be restrained.
Some months went by without incident, after that first eating frenzy. And things were almost normal. Occassionally I found the odd half-digested fox’s head, or a chewed-over vulture, the sort of stuff you’d expect around the chicken run.
Then one day my good friend and colleague Charleton Heston came over for a game of bacci.
The bacci court was adjacent to the chicken coop. By now there was just the one chicken left, because the big one had eaten all the others (including the rooster). Well, Charleton and I played a few rounds, while he regaled me with stories about his latest movie. All the while the chicken, who I had taken to unofficially calling “The Mouth,” was watching us.
In fact he was watching Charleton with particularly keen interest. Perhaps he was a fan. Maybe he really liked his portrayal of Ben Hur. Or Moses. But his huge yellow eyes went this way and that, following my guest wherever he went.
Then Charleton caught sight of him. I had not, to this point, told Charleton about the strangely large chicken in my coop. Who would have? Just another funny barnyard story! But when Charlsey saw it, his eyes nearly popped out of his head.
And that was when the trouble started. The Mouth had now locked eyes with Charlsey, and by some hypnotic force was drawing him towards the cage. You might understand my alarm, especially bearing in mind the fact he had already eaten one (small) human. Obviously I never expected the creature to take on any one of the stature of such a film star as Heston!
But he did, I’ll be damned! He drew Heston right to the edge of the coop, fixing him with a demonic eye. Heston, spellbound by those eyes, and no doubt mesmerized by the sheer size of the thing (by this time the chicken was the size of a horse, and growing daily) walked right up to the cage and the Mouth, which by now was watering, bent down and, almost delicately, ripped a hole in the chicken wire, and removed Heston’s head, swallowing it whole.
I was mortified. How embarasing! I stood helpless as the Mouth continued his repast, pecking off half of Charlsey’s torso and his groin in a couple of moves, then saving his shapely legs for last. Soon there was nothing left except a dull patch of blood on the grass and one of his brown loafers.
Life became considerably more complicated in the neighborhood after that. People started coming around asking whether I had seen Charleton. Of course I had to lie and say no, not for weeks. Of course, many of them insisted on having a look around my property, I guess there was some rumour that he had been last seen heading to my place. When they went over to the bacci court, obviously they saw the Mouth, and, well, one thing leads to another, and the chicken must be fed, so they went the same way as Charlsey.
All in all, I suppose this is a common tale among farming folk. Mine is perhaps, only a little different in that the people I am naming are of some, shall we say, consequence. But one does wonder whether or not we, as humans, should really be in the game of keeping farm animals for pets.
This post was submitted by Burt Lancaster .