Re: Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse

In “Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse,” by Andy Duncan, Father Leggett, a priest in Savannah of the early 30s, receives a peculiar phone message taken by the church secretary.

OCONNORS

MARY

PRIEST?

CHICKEN!

He meets Mary O’Connors, a little girl with a frizzled chicken she calls Jesus Christ. It’s the best name, you know. As you can see, she has quite an attitude. She even taught Jesus to walk backwards.

Father Leggett researches chickens and has to eat a lot of chicken dinners and becomes at once obsessed with and sick of chickens. After seeing a newsreel from Pathé Sound News starring a “unique chicken,” he can’t take it any more and visits Mary again. And her chickens. Where he receives a rude awakening. In an epilogue, it seems the grown-up Mary can’t leave him alone and she sends him a note about another famous chicken.

This is an amusing story, with plenty of chicken jokes, and Mary herself is a great character. There are several references in the story to obscure but real events, so you have to look things up to fully get it. As Andy Duncan explains in this Interview, he just added some elements.

Fantasy in the sense of “it coulda hoppened.”

Tomorrow: Remember us who are trying to comprehend, O Mary.


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