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Chicken Little and the Warming Global

One day Chicken Little was walking in the chilly rain under the gloomy grey
skys of Scotland when a bright hot sunbeam struck her right on the bonce
and a band of Maxwell’s Daemons concentrated a big dose of nitrous oxide
out of thin air and shoved it right up her nose. “Oh my god!” she cried out
loud. “The Global is Warming! I must run and tell the Queen!”

Her head in a bit of a tizzy, she turned around 3.14 times and ran off to do
just that.

On her way, she met Henny Penny, a computer wizard who specialised in
climate models. “Where are you off to in such a hurry?” asked Henny

“Oh Henny Penny, I’ve just had a terrible experience. It was actually warm
and pleasant for a minute. The Global is Warming. We must run and tell the

Henny Penny, who was running out of money and ideas for remaining a
computer wizard at Oxwarts for the next few years, thought for a bit, and
then grabbed Chicken Little by her feathery elbow. “Let us go visit my
supervisor Turkey Lurkey first. Perhaps he can help us.” And so they did.

Turkey Lurkey was entranced when Henny Penny put his back-of-the-
envelope ideas to him, and Maxwell’s Daemons helped with a little
concentration of the nitrous oxide up everyone’s noses.

“I shall at once put in a grant application for the investigation by computer

modelling of the Warming of the Global,” he said and immediately put
fifteen graduate students onto the task.

Then he had a brainstorm and phoned his friend Goosey Loosey who was
an atmospheric chemist. “You should investigate this, Goosey,” he
suggested. “Perhaps there are gasses in the atmosphere which are
contributing to the Warming of the Global.”

Maxwell’s always cooperative daemons did their thing to Goosey Loosey’s
nostrils, and he fell over backwards into a tub of dry ice which a school
pupil on Academic Experience Release (who had the misfortune to be
named Lucky Ducky) was using to make a cloud chamber. “What the
hell’s this?” Goosey Loosey exclaimed from his supine position. “Carbon
dioxide, Sir,” quaked the school pupil on Academic Experience Release.

“Ah Ha! That’s it!” thought Goosey Loosey. “And I shall blame it on you!” he
shouted, pointing at Lucky Ducky, who fled in terror. “And you and you and
you,” he continued, pointing to thirteen of his graduate students who
immediately went to work on grant applications. “Ah Ha again!” Goosey
Loosey concluded. “We are all guilty! I shall see to it.”

And he began, while Chicken Little continued off alone to tell the Queen, all
of her recent companions having discovered better things to do, like filling
in grant applications.

She ran so hard that she had to pause for breath and fan herself on an
industrial park bench, where she met Foxy Loxy who was out for a sly fag.

He patted her on her wing, and she spilled out all her woes. “Hemm.
Hemm.” Foxy Loxy hemmed to himself. “There’s a pile of money to be
made here,” he said sotto voce. “Carbon trading scams. Windfarms. Yes!
Windfarms! I’ll turn all the countryside into an industrial wasteland at public
expense and then build bungalows all over the place, and soon I shall be
as rich as an Irishman!”

“Come along,” he said to Chicken Little, who was snuffling a bit, “and meet
a friend of mine who will take us directly to the Queen”. He turned away so
she would not see him slavering, but gripped her tightly by the wingtip.

Shortly they met Stealthy Taxy, to whom they both told their stories.
Stealthy Taxy was fascinated. Thoughts such as, “I shall tax cars again! I
shall tax aeroplanes! I’ll tax ships. I’ll tax trains. I’ll tax power plants. I’ll tax
electricity. I’ll tax coal. I’ll tax gas. I’ll tax all the squeaks until they pip!”

And together they twisted off Chicken Little’s head, plucked off her feathers,
gutted her, rinsed off all the gory bits, and roasted her over a slow fire. After
they had dined, and as they were sucking the marrow out of her bones,
they reflected that they themselves would have to go see the Q.. er, Prime

And so they continued the journey to the home of Fairy Blairy, where they
spelled out their plans.

Fairy Blairy’s eyes lit up. They spun. “My legacy!”, he mused. “My legacy!”,
he determined. “I shall get the EU to banish lightbulbs. And candlesticks. I
shall make everyone bury their homes under ten feet of glass fibre. I shall
turn off the electricity except between three in the morning and one minute
past. I shall ban time switches because they are on standby. I shall put six
layers of glass on every window so that no one can see what I’ve done!” He
drooled a bit.

“Yes Fairy Blairy,” said all the Foxy Loxys and Stealthy Taxys, who seemed
to have multiplied and become legion.

“My legacy,” moaned Fairy Blairy, “My legacy!”. As he stumbled towards

the Queen’s Palace, he glanced backwards, eyes ever so slightly
unfocused. “No light. No heat. No transport. And windfarms everywhere. No
scenery! Yes. The perfect legacy to leave my children. All our children! Yes!
This is the new Britain!” And he doddered off purposelessly into the

And, by ignoring all this, we all might have lived happily ever after. Once
upon a time. But not now.

© Jefferson White 2007

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