What Wakes the Rooster (Part 20)

Ivan saw Melvin approaching and puffed his chest. He stamped his feet and stood tall; he looked the size of a turkey. All the hens drew back, shielding their chicks under their wings. As Melvin marched into the arena, Sonny ran up alongside him. “Melvin, what are you doing?” he whispered. Melvin glanced down at... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 19)

The next morning, as the chickens scratched around the yard, Sonny approached Rosie, who was loitering up by Winston’s shed, pacing back and forth. “Oh Sonny, I’m glad you’re here,” she said. “You shouldn’t be hanging around the shed, Rosie,” he said. “I can’t help it. It’s all so strange. Have you got the video... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 18)

Chickens, being largely immune to the anxiety that infects mankind, rarely experience the feeling of relief. They don’t even have a word for it. But upon hearing the news of the owl’s non-existence—which was interpreted not so much as a rumour disproved as much as a glorious battle won—a wave of relief swept over the... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 17)

The pile of rags was on the shelf between Sonny and the camera. He quickly pushed the pile forward so that it collapsed over, covering the camera, and then he flapped down from the shelf. He landed beside Rosie just as Ivan came in, and noticed a few of the chickens had also gathered just... Continue Reading →

Painting: Oranges

I attended one of my nephew’s junior football games last year, and at half-time one of the parents went around with a Tupperware container full of quartered oranges, offering them to the players. “It’s nice to see the parents help out like that,” I said to my brother. “When I played, the assistant coach used... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 16)

Sonny stepped inside and examined the fallen plank of wood and paint tins. “I’ve come to see about this owl,” he said. Rosie and the terrier exchanged nervous glances. “Uh, yes,” she said. “That’s what we’re doing too. The owl.” Sonny walked around and looked up at the shelves on the wall. “There is no... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 15)

On the fourth night after Winston’s death, a crash shattered the midnight silence. It came from the shed. The next morning, the chickens waited in the henhouse with anxious imaginations while Ivan and a few roosters went over to the shed to investigate. Upon returning, Ivan declared the noise to have been nothing but an... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 14)

Alfred’s honking grew louder, and up the farmhouse, Mr McGinley yelled something from the kitchen window. “The old rooster...” continued Alfred. “He’s gone. I saw it coming, I told them. I told you. They don’t listen. Why didn’t you listen? I warned you! And now what?” The goose’s voice grew threatening. “I said it, and... Continue Reading →

Painting: Umbrella Man

When I was a kid, my family and I would go stay with my grandparents every September school holidays. Nan and Pop lived in the city. Aunty Ruby would visit us there; she lived nearby. She wasn’t our real aunty; she was a family friend; she and Nan had known each other since they were... Continue Reading →

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