The following is a flash-fiction satire inspired by the current #cockygate trademark infringement controversy, written purely for your enjoyment. This is not for kids and doesn’t have an HEA ending.
The young lady at the mic belted out the last word of her song, holding the final warbling note well past the point Kockie expected the audience members to wretch from the ear-splitting torment.
He slipped his left wing into the armhole of his leather jacket, quickly followed by his right, plucked the cigarette from his beak and crushed it into the ashtray. Last one, Penny. I swear I’m done this time. I won’t break my promise again. Penny, the love of his life, and all his chicken friends, had remained behind on the farm, covering for him, in hopes that Farmer Johnson wouldn’t notice his absence until too late to do anything about it.
The singer mercifully let her note die, and bowed to the halfheartedly applauding audience, again, and again, and again. The stage hand strung out a guitar cable, set-up the specially shortened mic stand, and quickly rushed off clutching the full-sized stand. Kockie flipped the strap of his guitar over his head, puffed out his chest and strutted to center stage. He did a dance around the mic stand, spurring it twice, and stopped facing the audience his beak an inch from the round black foam covering. He let out an enthusiastic ku-kock, chicken language for, Are you people ready to rock?
A collective groan rose up from the crowd, and a heckler he couldn’t see for the glare of the stage lighting shouted, “Looks like dinner wants to entertain us!” A roar of laughter rumbled through the audience, but Kockie paid them no mind, and plugged the amp cable into his ax. His people had never gotten much respect from humans, but he’d show them chickens weren’t autonomous hunks of meat fit only to eat. They were loving, caring creatures capable of complex thoughts, and deserved all the same liberties as humanity.
He wrapped his left wingtip around the neck of his instrument, pulled a pick from his pocket and strummed a power chord; just two strings picked in rapid succession, but the sound exploded from the amp, reverberating off the venue walls, effectively muting the rowdy listeners. Even the heckler held her tongue. Kockie tore into his instrumental, bending notes, tapping strings, and working the neck with both wings alternately fretting and picking with each, to the delighted squeals of the anonymous audience members who were rapidly morphing into Kockie fans.
He had strutted onto that stage, just an unknown cock, and worked his way into human hearts through their ears, rather than their stomaches the way most of his kind usually did. Obviously none of them expected to witness a rooster shredding with the skill of top-notch human guitarist, but then they couldn’t have known he had been playing since nearly the moment he’d cracked his shell.
Farmer Jonson’s rebellious teenage son, Billy, had spirited Kockie away from the hatchery as a hatchling, taking him into the youth’s room. Kockie had hopped around on every accessible surface until finally jumping onto what he later learned was an electric guitar. The amazing sound the strings made as Kockie danced across them, changed his life forever. From that moment forward, he knew he had to make music. For a palm sized hatchling, fretting notes was out of the question. He accepted his limitations and contented himself by making simple songs, plucking the six open strings with his feet, but always remained optimistic that when he got larger he’d learn to play properly.
While he grew, Kockie played every possible minute, developing the muscles in his wingtips to do things they were obviously not designed to do. By the time he reached to his adult size, he’d learned his instrument well enough he made playing the most complicated riffs appear effortless. But even for a full grown rooster, supporting a typical electric guitar proved impossible. Billy had built a stand to keep the guitar upright allowing Kockie to perch behind it and play normally, but that would never do for the stage.
One day, Billy showed up with a guitar especially made for Kockie. It consisted of a normal neck but had a lightweight body, just large enough to hold the necessary electronics and strap studs. The new instrument opened up the world for the rooster who wanted to rock.
Kockie picked his final note, fretting it hard and letting it ring, the wild roar of the crowd rising to drown out the sound. He’d done what he’d set out to do. He’d taken the stage and won over the few thousand patrons of the talent competition. They would be his launching platform to fame, fame that he’d use to earn for his people the respect they deserved.
The raucous crowd rocked the stage barricade, shouting Kockie’s name. One young woman scampered up the backs of the tightly packed fans and bounded over the top. She skillfully evaded security, rushing across the stage toward Kockie. My first rabid fan. What will I say to her? But as she closed the gap, the crazed look in her eyes frightened him. He was, afterall, a chicken. He threw off his guitar strap and flapped hard to lift off, only to realize he couldn’t fly wearing a leather jacket.
The stage lighting glinted off a piece of cold steel clutched tightly in the charging fan’s grip. Kockie flapped and fought to shuck the jacket, to no avail. He turned to run, but powerful fingers clamped onto his jacket-clad wing and his feet lifted from the stage. A bone-jarring thud knocked the breath from him, his body hitting the stage hard. Metal flashed and the light faded as a shoe flattened his face.
The fan brought her razor sharp hand-ax down onto Kockie’s neck, severing his head. His body leaped to its feet and ran flapping around. A cheer rolled through the crowd as if they thought Kockie had survived the attack, but quickly faded, the blood spurting from his open arteries splattering onto his leather jacket, making apparent what had happened. Kockie’s body wavered and wobbled, finally falling flat. The fan rushed over jerking it up by the feet, the last of Kockie’s blood dribbling out his neck stump.
“My word! My word! That’s what you get for breaking the law, you cocky bastard. Looks like I’m having chicken for dinner!”
The moral of the story: Rocker chickens shouldn’t wear leather jackets. Or, perhaps, beware the dangers of Trademark infringements, they can lead you to ruin.