Unnatural Allies

They waited until the bruise colored sky settled into a uniformly inky color, dark enough to see the stars and dying moon clearly. Then, the rhythmic pecking began.

Every rooster and hen who was able gathered the needed ingredients, then placed them in the appropriate spots for the ritual. The high priest strutted around the perimeter of the circle. He grabbed each ingredient with his beak and dropped them into the bowl in the center. The beat of the pecking sped up as he worked, stopping completely when the last ingredient was added. Then he spoke.

“Oh infernal one, we have gathered herbs and spices pleasing to you to summon you here now. Defend us from the goblins who encroach upon the peace of our coops. Devour that which threatens our happiness!”

A wisp of smoke rose from the center of the bowl, growing larger and thicker, until it took the form of an old goateed man, clad in a crisp white suit, spectacles and a string tie.

“Well,” the demon said, “isn’t this just delicious?” He licked his lips once, then began to feed.



From the hill beyond the wall of the farm, the goblins heard the squawks of terror. They looked at each other, a few of them dropping the bags of seeds they had brought to offer the chickens, in the hopes of establishing an alliance with them.

One shook his head in disgust. “That’s just great. The chicken mages were our best hope for standing up against the trolls. What do we do now?”

The goblin elder looked at the now violently shaking coop. The wind brought the scent of the ritual’s herbs and spices to her wrinkled nose. She had a fairly good idea what had been conjured and why.

“We find other allies. Smarter ones,” she said, turning to walk back into the forest.




This story was inspired by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Title-Tale, where Magaly asked us to compose a story or poem based on a silly book title she had found. I chose Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop: And Other Practical Advice in Our Campaign Against the Fairy Kingdom, by Reginald Bakeley

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32 comments:

  1. The things some beings do, just because they don't take the time to learn better. If those chicken mages had taken the time to read the Discworld, they would've known not to " trust the cannibal just 'cos he's usin' a knife and fork!" Or, wearing a nice suit.

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    1. Now I'm imagining the chickens in ceremonial garb, and I can't stop laughing. :-D

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  2. I have to admit I got a very good laugh picturing chickens doing ceremonial magic.

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  3. It sounds like the infernal one prefers chicken to those herbs and spices he was offered.

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    1. Or he used the spices to season the chickens for his meal.

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  4. I loved the ceremonial chickens. This was a delight to read and puts me in mind of the gorilla I saw on facebook who can sign. When it was explained to him what humans are doing to the environment, he signed that the earth hurts because man is not smart. He is so right. Loved this story.

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  5. It's so important that we choose the right allies... love it as a fable or a myth actually.

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    1. Actually, that's exactly what I was going for.

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  6. Goblins in the coop and chickens performing magic rites! I enjoyed this, Rommy, from the gorgeous opening description of the sky to the twist in the tale.

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  7. This is brilliant!❤️ It feels like a centuries old myth where everyone is fighting the age old war i.e good vs bad. Inspired❤️

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  8. Hahahahahaha! Well, they DO say to never conjure the devil, LOL!

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    1. It reminds me of that cartoon where Col Sanders gets to heaven and discovers that god is a chicken. "Uh oh" he thinks to himself.

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    2. I am glad someone picked up on the form the demon took!

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  9. Chicken mages... who'd have imagined they'd be a thing.

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    1. Clearly only a mind as deranged as my own.

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  10. This was fun not to mention wildly imaginative. Thank you.

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  11. I assume they used "Eleven Herbs and Spices" and ceremonial buckets? Very amusing little bit of wordplay, Rommy. As is usually the case when you set your words free to run.

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  12. So what we are experiencing these days...

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    1. Susie for the win!

      Yes, this was a fable, as Bjorn and Sanaa noted, but it was a fable for modern times. I hope we can all learn the lesson before the thing that's been summoned remorselessly devours us all with his wee orange hands.

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  13. This is excellent Rommy! You are a fantastic writer!!

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  14. Oh my gosh! Delicious herbs and spices! Hahaha I almost lost it when the demon showed up, string tie and all! I will never look at a KFC ad the same way again! Great fun!

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  15. Fun! Why did those chickens cross the road? Hee hee!

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    1. To perform dark magic, clearly! :D

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