The Tale of Little the Chicken and the Birds from Far Away

Once upon a time, in the Doah of Shenan, there lived a Chicken named Little. This chicken had a nice life, enjoying all the bounty of being a chicken in the glorious, lush Doah of Shenan, where the water ran cool and clean, and no miserable clouds of gloom ever darkened the skies.

On the day that our story starts, Little the chicken was sitting at home watching Fox News. I cannot tell you why a chicken would watch a news broadcast by a network of foxes, but for whatever reason, she did. In fact, all of Little the chicken’s domesticated avian friends watched Fox News every day, listening with baited breath as the foxes told them what was going on in the world – that it was a fearful time for all birds of the Doah of Shenan, because of the dangers posed by those birds who lived in far off lands.

“Those birds are terrible,” Little thought, watching another broadcast, where that handsome Fox News reporter, Sly Fox, was talking about how the far off birds wanted to take over all of the Doah of Shenan, that the far off birds could not be trusted.

Just then, Little the chicken’s little chick arrived home from bird school, which was held every day at the head of the river. “Hello, little chick!” Little the chicken said. “How was school today?”

“It was great!” the little chick responded, chucking his school bag onto the floor and opening up the refrigerator. “We learned about the birds from far off lands!”

067_ChickenLittleLittle the chicken’s head snapped up. “You learned what?”

“About the birds from far off lands,” the little chick said, his head inside the refrigerator as he looked for something to eat. “Teacher taught us about their chicken scratch.”

“Teacher taught you what?” Little the chicken glanced over at the television. Sly Fox was smiling as a graphic appeared over his head. The graphic said, “Far Off Birds Want To Eat Your Children!”

“She showed us how the birds from far off lands write things,” the little chick said, finally grabbing a bag of sour cream and onion feed and plopping down on the sofa. “It’s a lot different than our chicken scratch.”

This was too much for Little the chicken to process. Here she was, watching Sly Fox tell her that the birds from far off lands wanted to eat her children, and at the same time, the teacher at the head of the river was telling her children how those same barbaric birds scratched in the dirt?

“Did she make you scratch it?” Little asked, her voice shaking.

“Well, she said we could if we wanted to,” the little chick answered, his beak filled with feed.

“And did you?” Little asked.

“I dunno,” little chick said, surprised by his mother’s response. “I guess I did.”

Little the chicken’s heart froze in her chest. Her own little chick, the pride and joy of her nest, had been forced by the teacher to scratch words from far off birds in the dirt? Images of Sly Fox and his broadcasts swirled through her head, fearful images of birds from far off lands, coming to take her nest, her feed, her children. If only it were something simple like a falling sky, she could run and tell the king, and the king would solve the problem.

But this was worse.

Her baby, her little chick, had been forced to scratch in the dirt like a foreign bird.

Like the birds that wanted to destroy the Doah of Shenan.

“I have to do something,” Little said. “I have to stop this.”

“Do we have any BBQ feed?” little chick asked, licking the bottom of the bag of sour cream feed, oblivious to his mother’s concern.

And Sly Fox, inexplicably, stopped in the middle of his broadcast, and grinned.


fox-chicken“We have to go tell Fox News!”

Little the chicken had gathered her closest friends together to tell them about the teacher at the head of the river, and they were all acluck.

Lucy the goose, Lucky the duck, and Tom the turkey all stood around the feed trough with Little the chicken, wide-eyed at the news that little chick had been forced to scratch like the foreign birds.

“I heard that she told them that if they didn’t scratch, they’d be sent to the butcher!” Lucy was saying. “And that the butcher works for the birds from far away!”

“My ducklings told me that she always talked about the birds from far away,” said Lucky. “And when she did, she had a longing look in her eyes, like she wanted to be one of them!”

“This is all a part of their plan,” Tom said, his eyes shifting nervously as he spoke. Was a bird from far away behind that tree? Behind that bush? “They want to get at our younglings, and then they’ll take us all over, for sure!”

Little the chicken felt more certain than ever that Fox News needed to find out about this, and then – once they did – the world would be made right. But Fox News was in the big city, and she was a simple country chicken. How could she ever stop this injustice? Who was she?

Little looked up at the sky, and just then, as if providence were at work, the clouds parted and a beam of light shone down on Little the chicken, bathing her in sunbeams and light.

And Little knew what she needed to do.

“Big Bird has spoken,” she said. “I’ll write about it on BeakBook!”

The other birds nodded, amazed that one of them had considered this way of getting out the word. Big Bird had definitely revealed this to Little.

“And we’ll share it!” Tom the turkey said. “We’ll stop this teacher or may all our feathers be plucked out and we wind up as Thanksgiving dinner!”

And Little the chicken scampered away from her friends, heading home, to her BeakBook account, and to her destiny.

To stop the birds from far away from eating her children.

To be continued…


Noah Film Taboo in Muslim Countries

Apparently, Egypt is not the only place where Aronofsky’s Noah will not be seen.  Reports have been coming from other Middle Eastern countries who are refusing to show the auteur director’s vision of the Biblical character of Noah, for the very same reasons.

Several nations ban the release of Noah because of the film’s depiction of Noah the prophet

Thankfully, there haven’t been any more reports of threats to “destroy” theaters should the film be shown.  But this just continues to add to the interesting dilemma that exists with American filmmakers trying to tap into the lucrative religious market in the United States.  Overseas markets are a pretty substantial chunk of the returns on major films these days, and when the subject of the film is religious, the overseas response has to be taken into consideration.

The BibleAnother recent film with obvious religious overtones has been Burnett and Downey’s Son of God, which is a film about the life of Jesus.  While well-received among Christian audiences, the film has been largely panned by many as being poor filmmaking about a good subject.  But will the film play well in Muslim countries?  Apparently not, since most Muslim countries consider Jesus a prophet, and therefore taboo for filmmaking.  But how much do Muslim markets matter to the final numbers?  Not much, apparently, as the films are being made and released in any market that will have them.  Even under threat of theaters being destroyed.

This is one of those moments that I’m glad to be a lowly little author trying to get a book published, rather than a studio executive, trying to market a controversial film.