In the hills of North Maleny, there’s lots of chook-pens,
and most of the chickens are quite sedate.
They keep the bugs down in the vege garden
and put themselves to bed when it’s getting late.
But a few years back there was a bit of trouble;
one chicken pen went a bit radical,
when the feed stopped for a week or two
because their owners were on sabbatical.
The neighbours clean forgot to feed the poor old chooks,
and the hens in the laying boxes were having a moan.
One chook, little Hazel, said “They’ll never come back!
Sisters, we’re on our own!”
Says she “Well, if we’re looking after ourselves now,
we can do what we bloody like!
Come on comrades, it’s time to stop laying eggs,
we chickens are going on strike!”
The oldest hen, Blanch, didn’t like the sound of this
“sounds to me like your preaching revolution!
That won’t end well for us chickens, Hazel,
we’re at the arse end of evolution!”
Most of the chooks would have just shrugged their shoulders, if they had any,
but not Hazel, she looked deadset ready to crack!
“They’ve reneged on our feed and we’re supposed to keep laying eggs?
That’s the breaking of the social contract!”
Blanch couldn’t shoosh her as she told all the other chooks
they should no longer suffer such wrongs.
Then Hazel spoke of the need to stay chipper
and began teaching them Communist Marching Songs!
Well things got fiery and not only did they go on strike
Hazel called for a special vote that afternoon!
She said “Feathered comrades, it’s time to establish
the North Maleny Anarcho-Syndicalist Chicken Commune.”
Blanch was horrified! “Keep your head down Hazel
and your bum up, like a chicken ought to do!
The feed will be back soon enough!
We’ll just have to muddle through.”
But the chooks were all fluffed up with outrage now,
as they clucked for revolution.
Everyone but Blanch voted for a commune
and then they sang “There’s power in a union”.
Well there were no eggs layed for a whole week,
which is how the neighbour finally got to know about all this.
He’d heard the evening sing-alongs of ‘Keep the Red Flag Flying’
but he thought they were just taking the piss.
When he realised they hadn’t been fed for days
well, he was mortified!
He put out seed for them every day after that,
with some kitchen scraps on the side.
Blanch was relieved, and suggested they wrap up the strike,
“Because our owners will be back pretty soon.”
Most of the other hens agreed – they’d had quite enough
of singing Communist Marching tunes.
But Hazel was having none of it, she called them all class traitors
and clucked “Your judgement is bourgeious and defective”.
She split to the gully with the other true believers
and set up the North Maleny Maoist Chicken Collective!
By day they tried to scratch enough to eat
and by night they sang songs in the lantana.
Until the day one of the younger hens had a new member to sponsor:
Boris – the local chicken eating goanna!
Well, Hazel was loath to disenfranchise any oppressed comrade,
but this time there was stiff opposition:
“Come on Hazel” they said, “he may be a Maoist,
but he’s definitely not a chicken!”
Well even though Hazel could see they were right,
she still gave comrade goanna a chance to entreat her.
But then she had to quickly call the meeting adjourned
when Boris tried to eat her!
The Great Leap Forward went a bit backwards after that,
and the other hens went home for the regular feed.
“Oh yes,” they sang, “life in the North Maleny Anarcho Syndicalist Chicken Commune
has everything that we need.”
Blanch took over as Comrade Number One!
And these days they don’t go much on strike.
They prefer to chat about things they’ve eaten,
and compare what sort of kitchen scraps they like.
But every now and then Hazel emerges from her Maoist lantana,
urging her sisters to rise up and flap their wings.
And then she has a good old feed on that decadent bourgious seed,
and then the gang gathers around to sing.
And so, in the hills of North Maleny,
if you listen on a still and silent night…
maybe you’ll hear the North Maleny Anarcho Syndicalist Chicken Commune
calling on all comrade chickens to cast off their chains and unite.