“I didn’t get why he always does. Every time Master said it, I would look at my feathers. I looked just like the others: a brown and red body, and a yellow beak and legs.”
Master shook some bread crumbs in front of me. I followed the trail of bread into the chicken coop.
“Good boy,” Master said as he closed the door shut. “My golden chicken,” he said.
I smiled at Master. He always says this.
“My golden chicken.”
I didn’t get why he always does. Every time Master said it, I would look at my feathers. I looked just like the others: a brown and red body, and a yellow beak and legs.
Yes, my legs and beak were yellowish, but all the other chickens had yellow legs. That night, I thought about what he said.
“My golden chicken.”
Little did I know what I would encounter…
Chapter One: Extra
Night came, and Master came to us and gave all the chickens a pile of bread crumbs. He looked at me and smiled.
“You need to get big,” he said.
He took two handfuls of breadcrumbs and placed them in front of me. What was weird is that he’d always give me an extra pile of breadcrumbs and say, “You have to get bigger,” even though I was as big as all the other chickens.
“Stupid chicken,” Bobby Chicken said to me.
“You don’t even lay any eggs, why does Master give you more food?” Joey Chicken was glaring at me.
“He is special to the master,” Mickey Chicken said. “He is the golden chicken, you owe him your allegiance.”
“Stupid,” said Bobby Chicken under his breath.
I stared at my food, and after a ton of seconds, I kicked one of the piles in front of Mickey Chicken.
“You take it,” I said.
“No,” Mickey said. “These crumbs are for you.”
I stared at him.
He looked at me and said, “You’re the special chicken!”
I ate my food and felt bad for the other chickens.
Why am I getting this, I thought, I don’t even lay eggs. Bobby Chicken is right. I am a stupid chicken.
Bang bang bang. Gunfire rang around as village houses got blown to bits by single bullets. Two kid chicks took a look at their parents, hugged them, and ran. They went past the forest, crossing over miles of plains, hills, and mountains. Chased by the man…
One of the kid chicks was small and was crying on the back of his much older brother. At the town, that was nearing destruction, all the adult chickens gathered together with their hunting bows. The kids’ parents were there too. The bows only caused wounds to the man. The chickens were all killed.
Meanwhile, the two chicks found a big cottage. They hid in it.
Thump. Thump. There was a man at the door…
“Good Morning!” Master yelled. “Time to get up!”
I woke up, relieved. I didn’t want to know what was going to happen next in that nightmare. As usual, Master handed me an extra pile of chicken food.
At noon, I watched as Master put his briefcase into the tractor and walked back into the house.
How weird, I thought. It’s not harvesting time yet.
“Let’s go follow him,” said Bobby Chicken.
“Bad idea, what happens when we get caught?!” yelled Mickey Chicken.
But Bobby Chicken was already gone. I stared at Bobby Chicken, then at Mickey Chicken. I took one last look at Bobby Chicken and couldn’t stand it. I ran into the tractor and hid under the hay. Master returned, whistling. He got in the tractor and drove off.
“Where do you think he’s going?” Bobby whispered.
“Don’t know,” I hissed back.
An hour passed, and we were driven into town. Master parked the tractor and walked into a door that had a sign that said “The Landlord of Lakon.”
Master saw another man. They started to talk to each other. Bobby could not understand the man talk. But I could.
“Mr. Canato,” the other man said. “Why have you not turned in your money?!”
“My crops got destroyed in a storm, sir,” Master said.
“That is no excuse, the other farmers have turned in their money!” the other man yelled.
“Just give me three months, and you’ll have your money,” said Master.
“But if you don’t, you will give me the gold.”
“Yes, sir,” said Master.
“I am not so easily convinced!” said the other man.
“I promise. I have to go sir, so I thank you for your kindness. Goodbye,” said Master, and he walked back to the tractor.
Master’s expression did not look good. He took off his hat and then started walking back to the house. He stopped and twitched as Bobby Chicken and I hid quickly under the hay.
“I think we can go now,” said Bobby Chicken.
“I don’t think it’s safe,” I said.
“We got into this tractor, we can get out of it too,” Bobby Chicken replied.
Without thinking, Bobby Chicken ran out. The hay fell back on my head, and there was darkness again.
Listen to Mickey Chicken, I thought. He’s the smartest. But Bobby didn’t do what he was supposed to, and he still got into this tractor. No, listen to Mickey, he’s the one to trust. Don’t be a guilty one. Well, how am I supposed to get to the chicken coop without sneaking there?
That was it, I was going.
I prepared myself to jump. You got this, I thought. The sooner, the bet-
“Goldy Chicken!” Master yelled, picking me up. “What mischief have you and Bobby been doing in my tractor?”
He put me in the coop and didn’t give me any food. All the other chickens got two piles, even Bobby Chicken. Master had never been this angry.
Once I came into the house and broke a bunch of plates. Master picked me up and scolded me. But you could obviously see that he wasn’t that angry. Why would he get angry about this when he didn’t get angry about the dishes?
Maybe it was because I now know about the money? It couldn’t be… why would he care about me doing these things? Does he even know I can understand man talk? How come Bobby is not in trouble? The questions swirl in my mind, and I hid my head as Bobby and Joey teased me continuously. Was it the gold?
Master came in with his basket to get the eggs. Of course, some random scientist found a way to make male chickens lay eggs. Bobby had eggs, Joey had eggs, so did Mickey, and I just sat here, stumped.
Weeks slowly passed. For some reason, Master got more and more depressed. I was tired of being this special chicken. It was probably my brother. Yeah, that’s all he cares about, it ain’t me. If it weren’t for him, I bet Master would have me eaten in no time. What happened to my brother? He died of old age, but now I am 10 years older than my brother was when he died. Am I wrong? Is there actually something special about me?
Night came, and I was determined to find out why I was special compared to the other chickens. Master went to sleep in no time. I was ready. I waited for seven hours, and then I went to the house.
Creak! The door slowly opened, and I walked inside. I jumped on the table, and looked at the bookshelf, and walked back and forth, looking for it.
The Fellowship of the Ring
Pride and Prejudice
To Kill a MockingBird
Then I saw it. The little notebook stuck out from the shelf just a tiny bit. I looked at it. It said “Charles’s Diary.”
I peered into it. There were tons of Master’s writing. The first date was 11/12/2023.
That makes no sense, I thought. It’s the year 2155. Even so, I continued reading. It said:
It’s my 10th birthday! This is my first time writing in this diary that aunt Rebecca just gave me. I’m so glad to have this. Today I got cake and ice cream. It was very fun. All my friends came over, and we played tons of fun games.
I got it. This was all of his entries about his life since his tenth birthday. Quickly, I scrolled through the pages and saw an entry that I stopped at.
This is my 15th birthday. Mom has given me my first pet: a chicken. I named him Goldy Chicken because he’s very cute. Mom says so, and he is my favorite chicken. We found Goldy and his brother in the barn. They were very afraid of us. When they looked at us, Goldy was crying. Mom said to name him Goldy. When I asked her why, she just said, “It’s Magic.”
Magic? I thought, I’m not magic at all! Is it magic that makes me the weak chicken? Is it magic that makes me lay no eggs! IS IT!-
Ring. Ring. Master’s alarm clock buzzed as I heard him yawn very loudly. I hopped off of the desk.
Whump! I quickly ran out of the house and back into the coop. The chickens were still sleeping in the coop when I quickly hopped in and pretended to snooze.
In no time, Master came out and started feeding us.
It had been three months since I saw Master’s diary. Today Master got into his car and zoomed off. There was no time to get into the car.
“Where do you think Master is going?” said Bobby.
“Dunno,” I said.
When Master came back, he jumped off the car.
“F@#$,” he yelled. “That stupid landlord.”
He kicked the dust and walked into the house.
“What did he say?” asked Bobby.
“Blofer, that stupid landlord,” I said.
“Why would you say that?!” says Bobby.
Night came, and Master came to feed us very late.
Everybody got their pile of food, but Master took me out to the woods and put the sack of chicken food in front of me.
“Whenever you see a man,” Master said, “RUN!”
Tears rolled down Master’s eyes as he started to walk away.
“I always will love you. You’re my golden chicken,” he said as he walked away.
My head started to swirl with thoughts. Tears started to roll down my eyes. Everything in sight turned into an unending blur.
I didn’t eat this night, all I did was sit and think. The trees rustled in the wind. Animals walked through the forest.
My fear was cats. The cats were large predators for us. They would always want birds as their meat. How do I know?
I witnessed it myself. When I was a little kid, my grandpa was my greatest pal, after, of course, my brother and dad. He took care of my brother and me for a whole year! He did it while my parents were gone. I didn’t know where they went actually. Anyways, one day, a cat came to our village. Grandpa told everyone to hide in the woods. He was the chief. Some legends said that he laid a golden egg once, giving every kid he fathered the ability to lay them too. But, of course, that was all fake. The cat attacked him and killed him before he could negotiate peace.
We attacked. Other chickens got killed. Five chickens were killed before the cat got tired and walked off.
Then I thought, Why did Master free me?
Chapter Five: Trapped in Terror
I satt in the forest for two days, not eating a single piece of chicken food. Finally, I felt like it was time. I was going back to Master. It was very hard to decide to, but I knew that there was some predator that wanted to eat me out there.
Late night came, and I was going to walk into the chicken coop and sleep when nobody else saw me. I started walking, imagining the lovely time I spent on the farm. But then I saw a little red glow in the side of the farm.
Fwoom! All of a sudden, the barn was set on fire, burning in a big, red glow. The crops were set on fire as soldiers walked into the house and looted everything. I stared at the terrifying sight, and my beak dropped open.
I heard screaming in the house. I felt the terror fall over me. I couldn’t bear it, and bit my wing, hoping it was just a dream..
It wasn’t. I closed my eyes until the sight was over. By that time, I was asleep.
Morning came, and rain came down on the still burning farm. Soldiers stood guard, playing cards. I knew soon I would need to run. The soldiers would soon find me and kill me.
Noon came, and the soldiers walked off. I had to see Master. I had to see if he was alive. I went into the house, hoping Master was still alive. The ashes were still very hot, burning my feet.
I went into the almost gone house, nothing was left. Tears slowly dripped down my face. I navigated myself to the almost gone chicken coop. It was the worst sight I had ever seen.
“Blofer!” I yeledl.
The hot ashes of the other chickens burned my eyes. I walked back into the house.
“I know there is a good man in this world besides Master,” I said. “Show them to me, brother. Show them to me!”
Thump! Thump! Thump! I heard the soldiers as they came back, carrying long sticks that threw iron projectiles.
Should I run? I thought, No, it’s too risky. But how am I ever supposed to get out of here before they search the place and find me?
The men were just turning into the house before I ran upstairs and into the dining room. It was empty too…
Nights passed, and the soldiers still kept guard, chatting day after day. One night, something I heard made my ear twitch…
“Say, Luke, have you found that gold Sarge wanted?” one soldier said.
“Nope, we’re never going to find that,” another said.
“Sarge said we would get $100,000 if we found that gold,” a third one cut in. “He says each missing day, it’s $10,000 off! We got two days before he gonna start counting. We better find that dumb gold.”
“Your stupid little money isn’t my problem!” the second one said.
The three soldiers started fist fighting, knocking each other with their long, iron projectile throwing sticks. Now was my chance to escape.
I ran down the stairs and climbed up the table, spotted a broken window, and jumped out. I snuck to the edge of the house and looked to see if the way was clear. I ran off, back towards the woods. Suddenly the soldiers stopped fist fighting.
“Hey, look,” one said, “it’s one of the farm animals that we didn’t capture.”
“Yeah, like you ‘accidentally’ burned down all the other chickens,” the third one said.
“Well, we might as well take one of the chickens captive,” the second one said. “Let’s get it!”
Soon the soldiers started chasing after me. I started sprinting so fast, I thought that my legs would fall off. They were almost on top of me. I didn’t think I could run any faster. I ran even faster, but I didn’t think I could for much longer.
Just before my legs fell off, one of the soldiers picked me up. They put me in a jeep and we drove off.
You’re going to be killed, I thought. It might be worse. You could be tortured till they are done with you and kill you.
Then I stopped. Why think about any of this? There is no use to think about how they’re going to kill you. You might as well spend a good time in the last few hours of your life in the world.
A newspaper was sitting in the Jeep. I was very bored, so I started reading it. The front page was missing from the paper. I looked at the sports section, which was boring. I read an animal page:
There has been a cat, named Salem, that has gone missing. It is the brother of Pierre, the mayor of Atlasai. What we do know is that his brother is being held by the Calicons. However, we have not informed Pierre of any of this. The President does not allow it. We will not let you tell. Salem was making a speech on “Ultra Plant territory” when he was shot by a poison dart. He is being held in a underground room in the Rocky Mountains near the Lemhi Pass. The Calicons have paid us $1,000,000 so we don’t tell any cat about the case. Punishment if caught is death without trial.
President: Military Secret Service
This sounded good. It looks like a cat’s life is at risk. Then I thought about how the soldiers were probably going to torture me again. I then thought about how they had killed Master, and all the animals.
I tried to get the flash of the barn setting on fire and the soldiers out of my head, but I couldn’t. It just played over and over again. I felt like I was going berserk when the jeep came to a stop.
I looked out. It was the same place that Master had gone. The town of Lakon. I watched the sign that I recognized, it said, “Landlord of Lakon.” I glared at the sight of the same person that met with Master.
He lied to Master, I thought. Reca Milatoo. (A Chicken Boy word… you don’t want to know what it means.)
The soldiers picked me up and brought me into the building, and the landlord stood there, hitting his fingers on a board that had letters drawn on it.
“Mr. Smith,” one of the soldiers said,“we took one of the chickens.”
“Very well, here is your $5,000 bucks,” said the landlord. “Go put him with the others.”
The soldiers took me into a room. There were cages and murder machines. I saw a pig missing his tail and one of his legs. The soldiers threw me in a cage.
Days passed, and I felt terror as more and more animals got tortured. I always thought of when I was going to get tortured, but there was a dog that cheered me up. His first name was Langston, but he never told me his last name. He was very smart and kind. The first thing he ever said to me was, “I’ve been looking for you.”
After three days I remembered that there was a rivalry between dogs and cats. So I decided to ask him something I would have never asked…
“Do you know about Pierre?” I asked. “The Mayor of Atlasai?”
Langston looked at me with a frown. “That cat from Atlasai?”
“Yes,” he said. “That was back in the 1900’s. My great-great-great grandfather was there.”
I was puzzled but kept listening.
“We were at war with the cats. They were and still are outlaws. The war once came to his village, and they murdered him when he had his paws up.”
I stared in awe.
On the sixth day, my name was up on the board. So was Langston’s…
Chicken #3: Legs cut off, beak slit, right wing cut off.
Dog #5: Tail cut off, front legs cut off.
I looked at the machines of torture, so did Langston.
“What should we do?” I asked Langston.
“We’re gonna run…” he said.
The clock ticked towards 11:00. One hour till my punishment. Now was the time.
Langston and another dog had dug a tunnel from under his cell to mine. The cells connected to the sewer. As the clock hit 11:30, we started. Another dog named Nick was also in the plot. When the guy came in to feed everyone, Nick started to bark as loud as possible. This caused a distraction for the guard. As the guard walked over to Nick, Langston and I made for the tunnels. But then the guard turned around and saw us.
“HEY YOU!!! GET BACK HERE!” he yelled.
He came to Langston’s cage, which had the biggest tunnel. Nick dove into his tunnel and climbed down.
“Over by cell for dog number five,” I heard the guard saying into his walkie talkie.
Langston scratched at the guard and continued down the tunnel. Suddenly more guards came in, carrying the iron throwing sticks. They shot at the cages and rushed down Nick’s and Langston’s tunnel, shooting as they went.
I ran down my tunnel, iron projectiles whizzing around me. I splashed into the water as the tunnel entered the sewer that was flowing with water. I saw Langston as I peered into the sewer line and followed him to the right.
“Where’s Nick?!” I asked.
“He’s probably way in front of us,” Langston said as we trudged through the water.
Splash! Splosh! Water sprayed all over my face as bullets hit the water and clattered on the iron surface.
“This way!” yelled Langston, and we trudged into a different tunnel.
A ladder stood at the dead end of the sewer. We started to climb. I heard yelling behind us. The guards were on our tail. I got up the ladder and opened the sewage latch. Nothing was in sight of any danger.
“Coast clear,” I whispered. “Go! Go!”
Langston and I jumped out of the sewer system and went into the alley.
“We got to get out of Lakon,” I said, panting.
“I know,” said Langston. “But first, we got to find Nick!”
We took to the streets, chased by the guards. We found ourselves going the wrong direction, towards the center of town. Another sewage system was there. Langston thought that Nick came from that system. We opened the hatch, hoping to see Nick. There was no sign of him. But there was a patch of foot prints that led off from to the sewer.
“Follow them!” yelled Langston, and we followed the footprints, chased by the guards…
We got into an open alley, which was completely empty. We reached the end of the alley and turned right. There Nick stood, hiding behind a garbage can.
“The guards are not far behind us,” said Langston. “We’ll all be way past dead if we don’t leave now! You go with Goldy to the left, Nick. I will lead them the other way.”
“You can’t do that! You’ll get killed!” said Nick.
“Well if we stay together, we all ought to die!” yelled Langston.
Whiz! Crack! A bullet flew at the trash.
The guards were back on us. This time they had a huge car with a huge iron projectile throwing stick on it.
Before I could even say, “Run!” I was sprinting off with Nick.
“Down!” yelled Nick.
My feathers blew as a huge, giant iron projectile flew overhead and exploded behind us.
Before us sat a trash can with a button to push, causing all the wheels to move automatically.
“Get in the can!” yelled Nick, and I ran for the can.
Not a second later, Nick dove in, and we started driving off. The bullets only dented the can. The can smelled disgusting, but it provided great cover, and I had only a right to laugh at the guards. Soon we reached the rendezvous point outside of town, west of the Lapondenakomaka Mountains.
“They stopped following us,” Nick said, as we ran into the woods. “Take some rest. We got to wait for Langston.”
Then we stopped. Where was Langston?
Nightfall came, and Langston still hadn’t appeared. We gave him directions to the woods at the exact rendezvous point, which had a clearing. Worry spread between Nick and me. He had taken the shorter route and was a faster runner than Nick.
“We need to find him!” said Nick.
“I would not do such a thing,” I said. “If we get caught, we will have an even more severe punishment.”
“I can’t bear this, he could have been captured, and then I don’t know what the guards are going to do to him,” said Nick.
“Nor can I,” I said. “But I know he will make it out. He’s a smart and fast dog.”
Then at that moment, Langston came out. It was not a very good sight to see him. An iron projectile had entered his back.
“Langston, what happened to you?” I asked.
“No time for questions,” said Langston. “We have to get to the City of Snow to meet the chief of Dogs.”
“Where’s that?” I asked.
“Near the Lemhi Pass where the men, Lewis and Clark, passed by,” said Nick.
“That’s a very high elevation. The trip could take months, especially with your wound,” I said. “Let’s get that bandaged up.”
Nick grabbed some pliers out of the trash can and ripped the bullet out. I grabbed a trash bag and tied it to the hole. Then we would continued on our journey through the cold, high mountains…
Langston and I traveled in the now emptied trash can, while Nick walked on the side to speed up the trip. The mountains were not just any mountains. We were going to a place where the elevation was over 12,000 feet high. We vomited a lot on the trip. The little air that we could breathe was freezing. The mountains were windy and tiring. We had no food. All we had was each other. Many times we would tell stories to each other. Other times we stayed silent, always on our toes. Sometimes stories made me feel worse about the trip.
“Why me?” I asked on the end of the second day of traveling. “You have shared the little bit of meat you have killed, helped me escape, even though I am slower, and put your lives more at risk.”
“That’s what friends are for,” said Langston, who was cured and back on his feet.
I looked at him, confused. He was only a prison companion, and I am only a chicken.
The journey continued for over three days. I heard stories about the Cantercats (a organization that fights against the dogs and the few good cats) and humans, growing my hatred for them.
“Farmers use drugs that make you lay more eggs. But they make you have a shorter life,” said Nick. “You haven’t heard of them?”
I shook my head, looking down, now assuming drugs were why my friends laid so many eggs, and why I did not.
It was the fifth day when I asked them something that I would have never asked before.
“You tell me about the Ultra-Plants. How come I can’t lay eggs?” I asked.
Nick and Langston’s smile turned to a straight, serious face.
“We must bring you to the Great Alpha Dog of the Dog Calicons.” said Langston.
So it was true: The Calicons were real. The brave dog kingdom that fought the Cantercats. They were the Calicons.
As the seventh day came to a close, I saw a shiny castle in sight. It was in hot red and glowing through the snow. It looked like it stood as tall as the mountain. Langston, Nick, and I walked to the gate. I was very amazed, but for some reason, Nick and Langston were not. We went up to the gate, and there stood many guards carrying the iron throwing projectiles that Langston called “guns.”
“Name and rank!” one guard said.
I looked at Langston. He took a card out of his pocket that he quickly showed to the guard and shoved it back into his pocket.
“What makes you think that you can break into these walls without your boss?!” yelled the guard.
“I have a guest here. He is of utmost importance to the Alpha Dog,” I overheard Langston whisper to the guard.
Something seemed very wrong. Is there something that makes me special? I thought, Does nobody like me? They just want me for some reason that I am special? But that was not of much concern to me.
“They are going to take you to your room,” Langston whispered into my ear.
“Where are you going to sleep?” I asked.
“I have my own matters to attend to,” Langston said.
The guards led me to one room as Nick and Langston went the other. I said goodbye while staring at the Tower in the Rockies…
I looked at the room that I was given. It stood in many colored designs. It had pictures painted all over, a private bathroom, books, and a king sized bed. I stayed for ten days. I had to see Langston again.
“He has his own business to attend to,” the guard said when I asked.
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I had heard that one million times already. I wanted to see him. Three months passed, and I was very bored.
“I am tired of this place,” I said. “Nothing has been going on,” I complained to the keeper.
“What do you seek?” he asked. “Your friend, I cannot give to you. But you can get an adventure.”
“What adventure do you mean?” I asked.
He smiled. “You have much to learn,” he said.
The fourth month came. I had been training in the Calicon Brute Force. Being in the Calicon Brute Force was no mere adventure, it was torture. I would have to run 10 miles starting at 3 am on a hilly course with 50 pound equipment. Others had 200 pound packs. There were many other things that were impossible. We had to swim two miles and army crawl through the mud, under barbed wire, with gunfire over us.
But it was better than sitting in my bed. I knew that one day I might be a hero, slaughtering cats one day. But still, why did the Calicons take me in. Why am I called “Goldy?”
One day, after a long day of work, I was asked to go back into the tower without any arms. I was led into the tower by the Calicon infantry. I expected nothing of any importance. They led me up the stairs. Soon I was higher up than ever. I twitched, something was up my nerve. I had to keep moving.
I went and turned into a large hall. There were many beautiful paintings on the wall: battles fought by the Calicons since the Middle Ages. The very ground I walked on was pure gold.
The soldiers took me to General Murkla, leader of the Calicon infantry.
“We have him,” said one of the soldiers.
I looked at the soldiers, confused.
“Your work is done here,” said General Murkla. “I will take it from here.”
The soldiers walked away. I looked at the general. I was ready for whatever was to come.
The general took me to a great hall. There I saw what I would have never seen. The Great Alpha dog leader of the Calicons. I bowed to him and stood up.
“Welcome, Goldy!” said the Alpha Dog. “I am very happy to see you.”
“Your majesty,” I said. “For what reason do you call me to you?”
“Many questions must wait to be answered,” said the Alpha Dog. “Come.”
“Do you know who you are?” he asked.
I stared at him, puzzled. I simply answered him.
“I am Goldy, a chicken. I am now in the Calicon Brute Force and will fight to the death for the Calicons,” I said.
“You still have much to learn,” he said.
“Why did you request for me to be in your kingdom?” I asked.
“You shall figure over time,” he said. “Do you have parents?”
“No,” I said.
“What happened to them?” he asked.
The flashback came to me. A dream that had been haunting me since I had it. The horrible memories played over and over: The Man.
“I don’t know!” I yelled.
“Then who named you!” he said.
“I don’t know,” I said.
Then it came back. The memories of my parents.
“My parents died,” I said. “But I do not know why. I was last with my master on the farm. He got killed. I was captured by the Humans, and Langston and Nick helped me escape here!”
He looked at me and smiled. “If you stay here, you will learn all there is to know, and all the secrets.”
Secrets, I thought. What about Master’s secret? What about My Golden Chicken?