So it turns out, I might not be the only writer in the family. I found a small note on my desk today, scrawled on a piece of scratch paper. Recognizing the handwriting, I sought out my 8YO offspring and asked her what it was about. I was very curious to know what this meant. “Oh, nothing really. I was just writing words,” was her cryptic response. “But, where did it come from?” I asked. “My head, I guess,”she said with a large (and perhaps slightly terrifying) smile.
I spent the rest of the day on and off trying to interpret the words. It was like the back half of a Scooby-Doo writing prompt. “I don’t want to hurt them, but I want them off my land, Smithers! Don’t break the law, but maybe just show them the chicken head!”
After reading it several times, I began to appreciate the simple beauty of the phrase. It is cryptic of course. It is slightly disturbing in that chicken craniums don’t typically come up in polite parlor conversation. It implies a discussion or debate about dark deeds, particularly in that the act of showing them the chicken head is the lesser of two evils. I long to know what the other, more nefarious, option was that could precede said phrase.
It it is so magnificently unbalanced, that I may have just found the title for my forthcoming collection of short stories. Of course, I’ll need to get approval from the copyright holder and that slightly terrifying smile of hers has me a little nervous…