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