The idea for Ronnie the rooster came from a smallholding we used to live
in. We had a group of 10-15 normal-sized chickens that lived in a pen -- which was the
equivalent of a human mansion to us. Every morning one of us would walk to the big pen and
unlock the latch to the door. I heard them all drop down with a thud from their perches inside,
come running down the steps and outside to the grassy -- and sometimes muddy field.
As they were all quite tame, they'd all come running around my welly
boots as I walked back to the house to scoop a handful of corn into a cup. I'd walk back to the
chestnut fence that separated me and the little feathery creatures, then watch as they all
devoured the little seeds. Pecking at each other in an orderly fashion.
One day a nearby neighbour knocked at our front door. He had a small
white bird nestled in the crook of his arm and hip. He raised it up like something from the lion
king and asked if the little rooster belonged to us.
He had driven along the road and found him sprinting down the country
lane like he was on some sort of mission. I shrugged, then walked over to check him out anyway.
It was a small bantam rooster, the size of a rabbit. It had long feathers that spanned over its
feet, making it look like he was wearing flares from the 70s. A tiny beak, huge red crown and a
white puffy chest. The neighbour had been checking with the other neighbours, but they had all
declined ownership. I took the bird in hand and explained that we would temporarily look after
him, and if anyone would claim him then we would give back accordingly. We named him Ronnie.
I remember looking at the sunrise one morning and the idea of the game
came to me in that moment.