Off the Beaten Egg
[ Issue 24 ]

Off the Beaten Egg intrigues Emily Bronto

Permit Bikwil to reveal the delights of Off the Beaten Egg

Off the Beaten Egg

Fizzgig reckons that if you want to start your own rumour, you can do a lot worse than start with a current movie and invent an imaginary novel to be its inspiration.

His example is Chicken Run.

Things start changing for the better, however, when he is given flying lessons by a gang of twenty-seven renegade talking porkers, who remind him that 'if pigs can fly, so might fowls'

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From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig

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Have you seen the marvellous Aardman Studio’s Chicken Run yet? It’s a sort of “Wallace and Gromit with Feathers”, enlivened by the voices of Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson. Well, whether you have or not, here’s your chance to be in on the ground floor of an urban myth.

Chicken Run actually grew out of a surrealist novel called Off the Beaten Egg. Written by Sandy Cheok Lim, it was a failed contender for the 1998 Pullet Surprise for Vixen.

It relates the story of an energetic cockerel known to his friends as Rufus the Unruffable who pursues Penny, a shy and unassuming hen, around a Launceston farm-yard for six months, only to be chased in turn by a fiendish fox called Maynard who has quite separate designs on both birds (to say nothing of his ravenous plans for several others).

At first our hero has enormous trouble when he tries to outwit the vulpine marauder. Things start changing for the better, however, when he is given flying lessons by a gang of twenty-seven renegade talking porkers, who remind him that “if pigs can fly, so might fowls”.

Ultimately Maynard is lured by Rufus and Penny into an existential appointment with a menacingly serene furrier. At the end, the two cluckers take off into the Tasmanian sunset, ceremoniously waved goodbye by a sea of cloven hoofs.

There you have it — Bikwil’s own rumour. Please spread evenly, after adding your own savoury seasoning to taste.

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