A tale of two chickens…

Did I tell you I am writing a book? It’s not a thriller or a celebrity kiss-and-tell. And it certainly isn’t my autobiography, so you can rest easy.

No, this literary gem is the true story (honest) of two chickens called Molly and Polly.

So why would a grown man commit pen to paper, or thoughts to hard-drive, over the eggs-citing adventures of two bantam hens?

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It is, I’m afraid, the result of becoming a grandparent. Once again Mrs Nurden and I have the task of entertaining two tiny boys.

I have no idea how we managed to control the Creatures of the Night when they were young. Like all parents, that was a full-on operation every day and night of the year.

At least the Boy Childs only arrive on special occasions and can be sent back home to allow us to recharge our batteries. There is a commercial on TV from a well-known holiday firm which shows an elderly couple recovering from one such visitation. It is possibly the best advert ever.

The Boy Childs land as if from nowhere, like a division of the SAS, and split up as they embark on their mission to scour the corridors of Cobweb Castle looking for trouble.

The oldest will make a bee-line for the kitchen where he sets about flinging open all the cupboards in a desperate search for pots and pans to turn into a drum kit.

The other heads straight for the stairs to try to kidnap the petrified cats.

It is as if the Storm of 1987 has struck. There is no hiding place. Suddenly our home has gone back in time like the Tardis to 20-odd years ago.

The sofa is strewn with puppets without strings, a giant flexible Spider Man is on guard in the lounge, there is a tub of plastic balls in the conservatory waiting to be tipped over the floor and a battered basket in the corner is overflowing with toy cars.

Plans for a relaxing read of the papers go straight out the window.

Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t swap the experience for the world. But bedtime, for all of us, comes as a relief as the toys are replaced by story books.

And that’s why I am writing my own. There is only so much Hansel and Gretel or Chicken Little an adult can take. And to be honest, some books are so badly written it hurts to read them.

I have to say, it also came as a shock to discover that on re-reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears I was not prepared for the awful truth that the heroine actually gets eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. I must have wiped the ending from my memory, having been traumatised the first time around.

Nowadays everything seems to be sweetness and light. So I sat down to write my own tale about the amazing adventures of Molly and Polly chicken. But that, boys and girls, is a story for another day…

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