A Fine Feathered Assistant

Apr15 cover

I’m pleased to be one of only two magic assistants to be featured as the cover subject in M-U-M in recent memory. The other is Pam Thompson (March 2013), whose husband Johnny stubbornly refuses to upgrade from doves to chickens. It’s his loss; as you’re about to read, chickens are much better traveling companions.

Magicians are famous for putting young chicks in their acts, so it should come as no surprise that I started working (starring) in Mike Caveney’s act when I was about six months old. Over the years I have visited most of the fifty states; together we had some amazing adventures. Like the time I got thrown out of the New York Statler Hotel and had to live for two weeks in a dressing room at Madison Square Garden. Seems that dead chickens are more than welcome in New York, but live chickens within the city limits are strictly verboten. Apparently the Waldorf Astoria was not aware of this arcane law, because I once spent a lovely night in that famous hostelry. Of course, our room’s level of luxury never really mattered to me because I always traveled with my own private quarters. As a home away from home, it was really quite nice, having everything I needed for the week or so that I was away from my coop. I know that some people pitied me for being cooped up in a small cage, but these same people would then return to their tiny apartments, never making the connection that, pound for pound, I had far more living space than they did.

In one hotel, just to screw with Mike the Magnificent’s head, when he stepped out for dinner, I wandered around the room for a while and then settled down behind a floor-length curtain. Later, I heard the door open and then heard him looking for me. First he searched the bathroom, including the bathtub (one of my favorite hangouts). He looked under the bed and in the closet, even checking behind the extra blankets on the top shelf. Believe it or not, he even looked inside the little refrigerator, as if I somehow flew up to the handle, pulled the door open with my beak, climbed inside, and pulled the door closed behind me. Really? You think I’m that stupid? No one is that stupid, although Mike was looking inside the fridge for his pet chicken. When he glanced behind the curtain, I thought the game was over, but miraculously, he didn’t see me. He had searched the entire room and I was nowhere to be found.

Without even trying I had created a locked-room mystery. A live chicken is placed into a room and the door is locked. Sometime later the door is opened and the chicken is gone. How did she escape? Where did she go? I remained perfectly still in an effort to extend the fun as long as possible. He sat on the bed for an extended time, racking his brain, trying to figure out where I had gone and then embarked on an even more thorough search. Dresser drawers, suitcase, and act case were strip-searched. I even heard the toilet seat raised and lowered. When he finally pulled the curtain aside, I had to bite my beak to keep from clucking out loud. No harm, no fowl, just a whole lot of fun. Click here to Join the S.A.M.

Apr15 toc