Thursday, March 15, 2007

Name that Chicken!

When I started this blog a month or so ago, it felt a little bare around the top. As I can't draw animate objects for beans, I begged my friend Rachel (and I feel sort of name-droppy saying "my friend Rachel" as she is in real life a brilliant cartoonist and the creator of the lovely Amy Unbounded comic-book series. But also she's my friend!) anyway, I begged Rachel to draw a chicken reading a book. And she very kindly came up with the literary fowl that you see up top to the right there, just above the "About" sidebar .

Immediately I felt more settled into my new blog home, with the companionship of this contented bookish coffee- (or maybe tea-) drinking chicken. (Rachel and I had a brief discussion about whether it was okay for the chicken to drink coffee in the library, and eventually agreed that she has checked out the book and taken it home to enjoy. In case you were wondering about that.)

She needs only one thing: a name. A literary one would be nice, but my mind is a blank; I can't think of a single literary chicken. But really, any name that just seems right will do.

So I am throwing this burning question open to the public, and officially announcing the book, book, book Name That Chicken Contest, to run from now through, oh, let's say March 24.

To enter, suggest a name for the chicken in comments below. If I choose the name you suggest, you win...a book! A completely non-chicken-related book called Father's Arcane Daughter, which is one of E. L. Konigsburg's lesser-known works and one of my favorites. It is sadly out of print, so I've been stockpiling copies and have an extra.

How often do you get the chance to name a chicken and win a copy of this family mystery about a funny, obnoxious, angry, sad boy and his two sisters, neither of whom may be as they appear?

P.S. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts below on the Amazon linking dilemma. You might have noticed that I'm still begging the question. Will write a real follow-up soon.

Updated to clarify: It doesn't have to be a literary chicken's name, though those are welcome. Just gaze at the chicken...look deeply into the chicken's eyes...and toss a suggestion in the comments.


Kathy said...

I have 2, does that count?

one: Henrietta from Mary Jane Auch's SuperChicken, she is the first chicken in her coop to learn to read.

two: Bab's from Laura Numeroff's Chicken Sisters - she is the youngest and she likes to sing.

Genevieve said...

Minerva Louise (an inventive chicken in stories by Janet Morgan Stoeke)

Henrietta from The Hoboken Chicken Emergency (Daniel Pinkwater)

Poulette from Hen Lake and Peeping Beauty (Mary Jane Auch)

Lottie from books by Petra Mathers

Rosie from Rosie's Walk (Pat Hutchins)

Chicken Little

Philadelphia Chicken (Boynton)

Chicken to the Rescue!

Little Bear had a chicken friend, but her name was just Hen.

(I can think of a lot more literary ducks than chickens - I wonder why?)

Anonymous said...

Well, I was going to suggest Minerva Louise and I still think it's perfect, but since it's been taken, how about Billina, the chicken from the Oz books?

liz said...

Darn it, now the only one that's left is Henny Penny.

I looooooove E.L. Konigsburg. Not least because my name is Elizabeth and my sister's name is Jennifer, and we are both named in the title of one of her books.

Also, the View From Saturday is brilliant.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

How about Maxine Synecdoche? It's not a literary name, but the consonants are somewhat "pecky."

P.S. Thanks for popping over to my blog! As of now, I only have one public performance scheduled, and it's in July. If you like, take a look at for updates.

zeelibrarian said...

Does it have to be a literary chicken? I am very partial to the name Desdemona, and I think it is poultry-appropriate.

Or how about Ophelia the chicken. She could be the long lost love of a little pig called Hamlet. Ouch, okay, I desist.

One more: Marjorie the chicken. How about Babs or Ginger from the movie Chicken Run. They aren't literary chickens, but they have entertainment value.

okay, signing off

Phantom Scribbler said...

I'm terrible at contests, but I've never gotten my hands on that particular Konigsburg. Must! think! harder!

(Also, I have to say that I have a little bit of a fangirl crush on Rachel's cartoons. Gotta get my hands on Amy Unbounded!)

rachel said...

(Aw thanks, Phantom! That Amy Unbounded website is rather dismally out of date because I suck, the the trade paperback is still available from Amazon or from me. Moron Monday Rachel. In Vancouver.)

(Phantom looks at address on website and says to herself, "My god, she DOES suck! This address is in the wrong COUNTRY!")

liz said...

I believe that that chicken is a Hazel.

Hazel Hen, book maven.

Or perhaps, Ms. Hazel Hen, Research Librarian to the Stars?

susan said...

I am so impressed by genevieve's familiarity with so many literary chickens and in general with the comments already left that I have absolutely nothing to add but admiration.

I am not quite sure I agree with Liz: the chicken seems a bit more of a Marian or Myrtle to me. But Hazel is also good.

Like Phantom, I'm not so good with the contests. (And a fan of Konigsberg)

Tricia said...

Since all the standard chicken names in lit are taken, I'm going with the French for book loving chicken, or Poulet Bibliophile! You can call her Poulet for short.

Rachel said...

Look deeply into the chicken's eyes... you are getting sleeeeeepy...

Little Willow said...

My random ideas/names/phrases:

Bawk Bawk Book
Poultry in Motion
Book Chick

Wikipedia rocks the list of fictional chickens:
* Alecto and Galina, in Clemens Brentano's "The Tale of Gockel, Hinkel, and Gackeleia"
* Billina the talking hen, from L. Frank Baum's Ozma of Oz
* Burn Rooster, a Maverick with fire-elemental powers from the video game Mega Man X8 (made by Capcom)
* Camilla the Chicken, the object of Gonzo (Muppet)'s affections.
* Chanticleer, the rooster from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales ("The Nun's Priest's Tale")
* Chanticleer, the Elvis Presley-like rooster in the Don Bluth film Rock-a-Doodle; presumably named for the Chaucer rooster.
* Chicken, from the Cow and Chicken cartoon series
* Chicken Boo, from Animaniacs
* Chicken Little, the chicken that thought the sky was falling when an acorn landed on its head
* Chicken Man, from Chicken Man (radio series)
* Cuccos (also Hylian Cuccos) are a breed of chickens or chicken-like birds which feature prominently in latter installments of the The Legend of Zelda series.
* Fission Chicken, the Chicken of Wrath, grouchy superhero
* Foghorn Leghorn, the rooster and Looney Tunes character
* Le coq d'or (The Golden Cockerel) opera by Rimsky-Korsakov, with a magical cock that is supposed to crow to warn the king of advancing enemies
* Le galline penseuse of Luigi Malerba (Einaudi, 1980)
* Ginger, Rocky and the other chickens in DreamWorks' Chicken Run
* The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg was originally a chicken in some older versions
* Jonathan Segal Chicken, a 1973 book written by Sol Weinstein and Howard Albrecht, parodying Jonathan Livingston Seagull
* The Little Red Hen, who asked everyone in the barnyard to help bake bread
* The vicious Chicken of Bristol, who was nearly stood up to by Brave Sir Robin, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
* Little Jerry Seinfeld, a fighting cock appearing in "The Little Jerry" (episode 145) of Seinfeld
* Joey and Chandler's chicken from Friends, who eventually became a rooster, died some time later and was succeeded by Chick, Jr.
* The Rooster Prince is a parable written by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, in which a prince goes insane and believes himself to be a rooster (in some English translations of the tale, the species of bird is a turkey)
* The San Diego Chicken
* Sweety the Chick, an animated character with a ringtone
* The Subservient Chicken, part of a viral marketing promotion
* Lord Chicken the Great; see Leongatha
* Ultra Mega Chicken is a legendary chicken raised from the dead by Billy Witch Doctor in Aqua Teen Hunger Force
* Roy, Booker and Sheldon from U.S. Acres
* King Chicken, from Duckman
* Little John, Bubble, Bubble Junior,Pop, Araucana 1, Araucana II, Buffy Araucana, Mary and Sheepy are the chickens of a popular ABC television show set in Turramurra, Sydney, Australia called The chickens of Warragal Road; the series ran from 1983 to 1985.
* The 'Yellow Chicken' that violently and restlessly fights Peter in Family Guy has become one of the most beloved characters on the TV show
* Robot Chicken, a television series that appears on Adult Swim, features a mad scientist in the opening theme bringing a roadkill chicken to life in cyborg form. The show itself is a stop-motion sketch comedy, featuring segments which generally have nothing to do with chicken(s).
* Charles the Rooster and Henerietta the Hen in Walter R. Brooks' "Freddy the Pig" Series
* Super Chicken, an animated television cartoon character
* Alan-a-Dale, the Rooster in Disney's Robin Hood
* Gamecocks, chickens used by Masa Tom Lea and others in the book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, and in the tv miniseries Roots
* The "Foster Imposters", the two chickens in the Foster Farms commercials
* The Rooster logo for Dickhouse Productions company for the TV show Jackass

- and Wiki also offers, and I quote, "Mythical creatures with chicken-like anatomy," like:

* The hut of the Russian witch Baba Yaga moves on chicken feet
* The demon Abraxas, often depicted on "Gnostic gems" has a cock's head, the upper body of a man, while his lower part is formed by a snake. He often holds a whip.
* The Basilisk, a giant snake who kills with a single glance and poisons wells, was hatched by a toad from a hen's egg. The Basilisk will die if it hears a rooster crowing.
* The cockatrice

cloudscome said...

Well that clearly covers the literary chickens! I think you've got a dozen winners there. She looks like a Ms. Peckntote to me; a rather bookish sort of hen...

Vardibidian said...

Just for fun...

1. Darles Chickens (I couldn’t help myself)
2. Hen Carey Thomas (Doesn’t she look like she went to Hen Mawr?)
3. Henny Dreadful (Or Henny Wise, of course, but my preference is for the pulp)
4. Information Hen (from the fabulous Between the Lions)
5. Helena Henway (what’s a henway?)


Slim and Slam said...

I think her name's Helen. Or Helen The Chicken, if you're being formal.

Don't know why. I could just see walking up to her desk and saying, "Helen, I'm having the most awful day," and she slips a bookmark into her book, looks up with a wry, been-there look, and clucks, "Is that so?"

Slim and Slam said...


Dunno, maybe four or five pounds?

Howard Albrecht said...

Happy to see that someone still remembers our book, "Jonathan Segal Chicken." We wrote it a long time ago, but it still remains one of the primary poultry information books. A real look into the mind and heart of an heroic chicken.

web said...

This is pretty random, but some time ago I got the idea that I would really like to name a chicken Queequeg. Don't ask me why, I couldn't say.

Barbara Bietz said...

I was visiting your blog to read about Purim, but this is where I ended up! How can one resist naming a chicken!

Here is my entry:


By the way - did you know March 19th was National Poultry Day? It was a big topic of discussion on our SCBWI list!

HipWriterMama said...

Figures I always find things on the very last day. Here are two names:

*Library Chick

*Ms. Chickels Peckaway

Your chicken looks so happy with her book and hot drink. Have fun finding your chicken name! said...

I know that this is closed but why not add my ideas.

These are not even literary names.


I was acctually looking for a web site where I could get some comedy names for the chickens that I will soon be getting.

Nice Blog