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(1993) [Reprinted in "Reality Module No.19" in December 2000.]

In 1993, as part of a course I had to write a short story on the topic: "The Night the Chookshed Caught Fire."

This is the result.


My uncle was never the same after seeing "Lawnmower Man." If he had not seen the film he'd never have started his experiments to increase the intelligence of chooks.

I guess he'd hoped to end up with polite chooks coming up to him with tiny baskets saying "Here's my eggs sir!" in little clucky voices, and saving him the trouble of collecting the eggs himself.

He couldn't figure out which psychoactive drugs to use in his experiments and so used all of them mixed together. He'd inject the chooks each morning with his marvellous mixture, and always left the door between the chook shed and the garage, where he had his laboratory, open. He hoped that the sight of the computers and enough laboratory glassware and chemicals for a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" movie in there, would somehow inspire the chooks to greater heights of intellectual endeavour.

At first all we got was chook poo on the keyboards and claw marks in the floppy disks.

The chooks never liked uncle. He sometimes forgot to feed them, and they must have longed to escape and see the world.

They learnt something. One night we heard a great bang and the chook shed exploded in flame. Singed chooks flew in all directions.

Later we found out they'd been making gunpowder.

Occasionally one of them sends a postcard to me, written in thin scraggly writing.

They never write to uncle.


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Copyright © 1993 by Michael F. Green. All rights reserved.


Last Updated: 21 June 2020