My Chicken. Chooken.

When I was ten, I went to our local open day at the Agricultural College because I like to live dangerously. Mum had given us all two bucks, instructed us to meet back at the grandstand in two hours and told us to knock ourselves out.

With a two dollar note in my hand, off I went to check out the different types of sheep, hopefully sit on a tractor and eat some crap. Having spent a dollar on some cake for my cake hole, I spied a group gathering around a box, oohing and ahhing. Wanting in on the action, I slid my way into the gang and was confronted with a box of chicks. Day old chicks. Fluffy, noisy, adorable shit dispensers and I knew, I just knew, what I would spend my remaining money on.

As I approached my mum at the designated time and the designated place, she asked me, “What is in the box?”

I opened to box and introduced her to Blackie and Goldie, aka a black chicken and a gold chicken.

She looked less than impressed and I beseeched that I would look after them, care for them and she would not even know that they were in our possession.

When I got home, I set up a little home for them in the laundry with a light for warmth. I introduced them to Kimba our cat. Kimba was positively ancient, had no ears due to skin cancer, and I knew he would be of no threat to them at all. Considering he had no teeth.

I then proceeded to knowingly let those chicks imprint themselves onto me. Chicks have this tendency to think that anyone is it’s mother if you let them.

The next day, tragedy struck. Blackie was found unresponsive and was given a emotionally fuelled burial. If we had to issue a death certificate, it would declare “PATTED TO DEATH.”

But as the weeks went on, Goldie got less gold and more white and was renamed Chooken. Chooken graduated from the laundry and took up residence with Bruce with Guinea Pig. Together they would prance and play, under the watchful eye of our 15 year old Labrador Sam, who like Kimber, was not long for this world. Eventually, Chooken grew and grew until he basically took up the entire guinea pig cage, therefor was no better off than being battery farm fodder.

Mum coughed up some cash and bought a large enclosure with a little box, but by this stage, Chooken was basically given free reign of the garden and the house, and only took advantage of his digs of an evening.

One day, he laid an egg and we realised that of COURSE IT WAS NOT A BOY because… ROOSTER.

She could be found sitting in front of the television, wandering around the kitchen after scraps, and as a party trick, we would hypnotise her.

Years passed, along with Kimber, Sam and Bruce. I was whisked off to boarding school at 12, while Mum promised to take care of Chooken for me.

A few months later, they got a dalmation puppy, and well, a gate was left open. Mum found Chooken dead at the backdoor one morning.

I have detested Dalmatians ever since. ALL DALMATIANS.

Crazy fucking chicken murdering, Disney starring assholes.

Not long after that, and as I was coming out of my grieving process, renowned artist and family friend Greg Hansell  gave me a large portrait of Chooken that he drew from a photo. I pass it about a million times a day now.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 8.17.10 AM

Which, while I still declare Dalmatians to be assholes,  some people are pure gold. And chooks rule.

Got Chooks?