A Chickens' Rightful Plaice
Casper, an unusual lead in a story, is a chicken. Not a small chicken as the world of which he lives has many ‘human’ sized creatures, such as pigeons and geese. This land had an assortment of different beings living together as one and yet even Casper was seen as different. His bravery was often over-looked thanks to the fact that Casper, with average brown feathers, smelt strongly of chocolate. This was a natural odour that even confused him. Furthermore he absolutely adored cheese, any type he’d eat. He simply wasn’t fussed. It gave him energy and even Tim knew to stay away from the prized cupboard in which he stored it all.
However what really stood out to his society was the fact that he was rather cat-like. At sleepovers when he was just a chick, his friends would not complain that he snored but that he purred, vigorously. He had exquisite wit and slyness of the feline breed and could hear and smell so well that he would sometimes despise his gift. His work colleagues at the button factory would often make fun of his habit of hissing when he got stressed, arching his back in such a peculiar manner. They even came up with the terrible nickname of Cat-purr. He just nodded and laughed along at their gags but when his holiday leave finally arrived, he was over the moon to escape for a couple of days.
He had to get his Rainbow car prepared, another original piece to the little chicken, before he went away. This vehicle could mould into any shape he wanted it to be, a mini, a caravan (which he needed it to be for this trip) or anything else with thanks to the Fabonator that fuelled the magic within. The one, outer, detail that would stay the same was the multi-coloured stripes that coated its metal shell. Furthermore it also magicked up all the cheese and apple juice he wanted… but nothing else. Therefore he took up fishing from a young age as he knew he’d need some skill in hunting for other types of food when away from home. He knew cheese and apple juice wasn’t a balanced diet.
Fishing was a past time that a chicken like Casper treasured. The peace was phenomenal; he would shift into a catatonic state as he stood at the river’s edge. He longed for this break as the company of his friends was so unbearable.
Abigail, the Tooth fairy, was a very bitter sort of fairy, but this came with the job. After graduating Flutter University, all fairies were expected to select a career. There were many to choose from, so many in fact that the handbook given to them from a young age was about 500 pages thick although this did include some detailed descriptions of the job in question. She could’ve been a flower fairy, a healing fairy or even a sugar fairy that, if done well, could’ve upgraded her to a Sugar-Plum Fairy (one of the most respected roles within society) but no. Abigail chose to be the most temperamental of all the careers in the winged creature world, the Tooth Fairy.
The long hours did her attitude no good, as she began work from 3:00 in the afternoon until 4:00 in the morning. Her looks, on the other hand, did not suffer as she managed to maintain her rosy cheeks, slender figure and long black hair’s healthy curls. The first half of her shift spent doing soul-crushing paperwork and the other spent giving spoilt children money for teeth that were only going to be melted down and turned into tacky furniture. On her days off, she would harass Casper and rearrange his house whilst he counted the minutes it would be before she left.
His other brain-numbing friend was Tim Ferry, an elf. Like fairies, elves have high aspirations choosing to be nature orientated (intelligent but live in woodland cities shoeless) or scholar elves (which are literally the really smart ones who sit in libraries all day) etc. Tim was a one off; he had no goals in life and didn’t even have a job, living off Casper’s own supplies, causing him to double his food allowance just to compensate for Tim’s never-ending gut. It’s strange to think that his grandparents, on his father’s side, were the wisest of nature elves, his father is a scholar elf and his mother is a herb elf, succeeding in both alchemy and other forms of magical crafts. Furthermore he has a brother, Tyson, who tames dragons for a living.
So still remains the question as to why Tim was simply so lazy. Not only did he eat everything and still stay slim, he had the luscious brown hair, the smouldering green eyes and the chiselled features to be a model and yet he got nowhere. His only skill was to watch films; he was simply obsessed with them. Not just any old films, he absolutely adored Tom Cruise. His obsession was in the form of a man crush, and an unhealthy one at that. Dressing like him was standard daily business of Tim and specifically he dressed like the characters he played. Quoting him often was so painful to hear and even Abigail hated it.
Now it sounds as though Casper truly detests his friends, not at all. In their company he did not only consider roasting himself to escape their intolerable babbling but he could feel a stomach ulcer occurring. Their personalities were detestable yet loveable in their own kooky ways. Abigail was determined and looked after the little chicken and Tim was a reliable friend who was always there for him. But Casper would often struggle to see this as they very often ruined his most precious privacy.
It was on Casper’s holiday that he finally experienced ‘the last straw’. He could sense from the start it would all go wrong. As he was standing, lost in his own little world, he realised the peace wouldn’t last as his cat like senses locked onto the soul scent of cheesy feet. He turned his head to peer over his shoulder noticing that Tim, lounging in a fold-out-chair, had decided that his filthy toes should be exposed to the decent chicken.
With a slight gag, Casper turned back to what he was doing, trying desperately to focus his nostrils on the pine freshness of the woodland surrounding them.
Tim was happy that Abigail had decided to come along; his crush on her was more obvious than Arnold Schwarznegger’s pecs. However the chicken was not pleased by either of their presences.
They’d talked themselves into coming along and then completely dominated the best parts of the trip. Abigail demanded that she have the bed, the only one in the camper van space…the car didn’t have enough power to make two of them. He had to make a bed in the front seat and Tim decided to try out the large-ish cupboard under the sink. The two of his guests dominated the playlist and all he wanted to do was cry about it. Abigail didn’t like Adam Ant, so that was out the debate. Tim was fussier though, he wanted no Take That, no soundtracks: specifically The Sound of Music and The Phantom of the Opera. That actually caused a tear to run sorrowfully down his cheek after Tim had sent him the list over Beemail. Without consulting Casper, Abigail and Tim finally decided upon the six disc collection of Barry Manilow… torture on a disk.
Striding out of the vehicle, having just made the bed space her own, was the grumpy tooth fairy, a sour look upon her youthful face. She had to speedily avoid Tim’s size 16 feet as the smell hit her like an unexpected yoghurt pot, thrown in a careless food fight in factory canteen.
“Ugh, get some socks Tim!” her cry of disgust sounded surprisingly sweet and smooth for the repulsion that was clear on her expression. Well, most fairies were able to keep a silky voice like that.
Casper tightened his grip on the fishing rod, feeling his eye twitch in a psychotic manner.
“Well, you know what,” Tim began matter-of-factly, “It seems to me that it would be impossible, a mission impossible.” Casper felt the ice cold stare of Abigail radiate across the whole area, there was no escape. The little chicken wanted to be left out of the dispute but knew all too well that he’d be invited in somehow.
“Casper,” her velvety voice could not disguise the strain of not trying to scream, “Tell this moron to put on some shoes.” Just as the chicken was going to share his view on the situation, Tim stood up abruptly and bellowed, “Don’t, don’t drag the chicken into this! This is not his fight.”
And so the quarrel continued, sticking ones beak in would, in fact, be the worst thing he could do. Focusing on the water again, Casper tried to a great extent to ignore the bickering voices that were obviously deterring the fish from considering the chunk of bait on the end of his line.
Nothing had been hooked although three hours had gone by since he had commenced and yet he did not mind. What bothered him was the presence of Tim at his side. Abigail had retreated into the van after the argument, where they both knew to keep away from the wrath of the Tooth fairy. Unfortunately her absence encouraged Tim to talk to him. The conversation was very one-sided.
“Abigail always moans at me, stop leaving the top of the milk, keep off my property, stay out of my bins! Who does she think she is? ‘Put your socks on!’” his impersonation of her really was poor, Casper was embarrassed to be in his company.
“Did you see the way she glared, like I was an unwelcome calorie? Well, madam perfect in there is being disa- disa- not fair,” clearly trying to expand his vocabulary and failing miserably, “My feet have their rights and so do I …Oh I have rights. Oh what a glare thy had in thine eye.” He cried, his hands held high, “Woe me!”
The poor chickens’ confusion was at its peak, he truly did not understand how Tim had begun to speak Shakespearian. He could barely speak common English. “Oh Casper, Abigail is my dream, my reality. I love her! I should’ve put my shoes on, for her. Heathcliff had a point you know, ‘I cannot live without my wife-’ wait. Is that right? They were married, weren’t they?” an incorrect Wuthering Heights reference was blasphemy, what was wrong with Tim!!!
At last he no longer had to listen to his whining as he felt a tug on the fishing line. A smile spread across his face for the first time in hours as he began to reel it in, battle had begun. All seemed to be going well as he discovered that it was a large trout that confronted him, jumping ferociously out of the water, it’s golden scales glistening in the suns warm glow, the red spots upon its’ body a surprisingly vibrant shade.
However, it all went wrong. Tim decided to help…
“Casper, gimme that! You’re not doing it right.” Said the inexperienced imbecile to the pro-fisherman. Aggressively trying to dominate, the elf tried to grab hold of the rod; his lack of understanding was mind-numbing.
A chicken with its cat-like senses could hear extremely well and as the wood of the prized rod snapped, it practically deafened him. The half of the equipment left was not useful when alone. He thought he would shatter into a million pieces as he looked upon the reel of his fishing rod.
That was it.
Casper rotated bitterly, taking his time as he tried not to squawk.
“Oooh, Casper…butter fingers.” Tim chuckled stupidly.
“B-butter fingers?” The chicken could finally speak, he had not found the time to get a word in edgeways but after hours of silence, he’d finally had enough.
“That was our dinner buddy, go have another go. I need to sit down, all this fishing has taken a lot out of me.”
“It’s taken a lot out of you?”
“Woah, is there a parrot around?”
“No, Tim, no! There is not and guess what you’ve lost us our dinner! I’ve been standing here all day, waiting for a bite. I can’t try again because I’ve just watched half of my only fishing rod float away. So Tim, shut your beak!”
Abigail heard the commotion and emerged from the caravan, a look of sleep-interrupted upon her pale face. Casper now turned on her, “You, all I needed was a solitary fishing holiday and you took over! I can’t even sleep in MY bed. My holiday has turned into yours, I’m just the guest.”
The fairy stood silently, contemplating what had been said and coming to these words, “Where’s your rod?” she asked in an accusation-styled manner that Casper simply yelled to the world,
“TIM BROKE IT!”
“No I did not butter-“
“Don’t say it, don’t you dare say it. I had to lose out to Maria because of you. You two are the reason we’ve been fishless for the day. This was MY holiday, this was MY time.” And with that the poor little chicken began to gather his things. He threw the chairs and empty coolers into the back of the Rainbow car and climbed into the front seat of the vehicle bitterly. It could feel his sadness as it stuttered as he started the engine. Abigail and Tim remained at the river’s edge, watching their friends’ fury; never before had they seen him in such a state.
In the driver’s seat of the car, Casper sat, gripping the wheel, his rage consuming him. He waited patiently for the others to get in, wanting to sob as, in his mind, he replayed the end of his fishing equipment.
They understood eventually that they were allowed in the car and, once inside, pulled out of the clearing and heading back onto the motorway.
“I feel the need, the need for speed!” Tim cried out, holding his hand up for a high-five. Abigail grabbed his wrist, yanking it out of the air.
“Don’t man handle me, woman!”
“Shut up!” she hissed into his ear. That moment on held tense and uncomfortable silence, no one choosing to apologise to the other as Tim and Abigail’s ignorance failed to acknowledge Casper’s disappointment.
A week later, Casper came home from work, drenched whilst the rain fell down to the ground with such a force, it stung his face. He needed to put extra hours in at the button factory, as new fishing rods did not come cheap. His anger prevented him from even speaking to Abigail and Tim, not even allowing them into his house. She tried to call from Loose Tooth’s home office where she worked but he refused to talk to her. And Tim harassed him while he worked, sneaking onto the factory floor, with a box of cheese selections to get his attention, and often being caught and removed from the premises.
So, that evening Casper was sitting with a bowl of nut assortments, watching ‘The Jeremy Quackers Show’. “She was lying, that Magpie so stole those earrings!”…he always got too involved in the issue.
However, he gave a surprised cry as the doorbell rang, it’s sharp, harmonious tune was ear-splitting and needed a volume adjustment.
Curiosity encouraged him to answer. He rarely cared for visitors as, in the area, most of them were rather forgetful salesmen who failed to notice that they’d been circling his, and neighbouring streets, for the past two months. Upon opening the door he found his friends standing rather awkwardly before him.
“What do you want?” the little chicken sighed, looking at his watch to see how late they’d left their visit.
“Look…buddy, you complete me-” Tim began to say but was judged in the ribs by Abigail’s sharp, narrow elbow. Ignoring the elf’s sniffles she said matter-of-factly,
“Casper, I know I was … bossy. And we both know that Tim’s stupidity is in need of scientific research but we are both so sorry. We ruined your holiday and I cannot express how deeply sorry I am for this. To make it up to you, we put our money together and got you this.”
She reached around the back of them and revealed a cardboard box. She handed it to him, and eagerly, they both stood with an excitement in their eyes.
Casper took it and looked at the dull brown of the packaging.
“Go on, open it.” Tim giggled. The chicken did exactly this, exposing a gift so thoughtful, he felt tears well up in his little eyes. There, before him, was a fishing rod painted a bold purple and was sturdier than his old one. Looking between the two, he stumbled upon his words as emotion filled his heart, “Thank you, ever so much guys, I love it.”
Everything was going to be fine between the three friends and as they hugged one another, there was a relief that the bitter quarrel was behind them. But now they’d made up, it did not put an end to some things.
“Hey Casper,” Tim began as he welcomed them to join him in his TV viewing, “Do you still want that cheese?”
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to say that…”
“Why wouldn’t he, you offered him free cheese.” Abigail stated, looking upon Tim with a crease of confusion upon her brow.
“I ate it all.”
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