The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm: As The Worm Turns

When I was a kid in the 1960s-70s daytime television was filled with soap operas, those over-the-top melodramas following the lives of a cast of flawed characters, in outlying areas close to big city action. As The World Turns (ATWT) holds the distinction of having the longest running time of any North American TV show with a whopping 54 years (1956- 2010). I hate to admit it, but I, too, followed the highs and lows of the denizens of Oakdale, Illinois for more time that I’ll fess up to.

A couple of years ago, after having heard a few stories about my flock, my partner suggested I write some of their tales in the form of a soap opera. I jotted down a few notes and a sketched out a cast of characters in what was going to be called As The Coop Turns. Sadly, that project never got off the ground.

I was surfing through an online chicken group recently and came across a two-part serial entitled As The Worm Turns. I quickly contacted the author, Susan Slednem, and asked if I could post it. I encouraged her to write a couple more episodes to complete the storyline of star-crossed lovers Beeker and Anakin.

You think you’d get over it after a while but the first egg still makes me eggcited. My Silkie hen, Beeker, popped out her first egg. Three more and I’ll have a snack.

I let the crew out to roam this morning and sat down to enjoy my coffee when my roo, Anakin, decided he was really in the mood for Miss Phyllis. Well, Miss Phyllis wasn’t in the mood so she took off running and squawking and took flight to get away. I put my arm out and she landed like a hawk. She sat on my shoulder while Anakin hopped up on the back of my chair several times, asking her if was in the mood yet. Miss Beeker came over wanting to know why Anakin was ‘stepping out’. Tune in next week with As The Worm Turns to see which way the egg rolls.

Last week Anakin was caught trying to cheat on Beeker with Phyllis, but she refused to be the other hen. Beeker conspired with Padme (baby got back) to set Anakin up. As we tune in we find Anakin trying to put the moves on Padme, but his lack of experience with large ladies showed through and Anakin couldn’t finish the deed leaving him in a bawkward position as Beeker stormed into the love coop demanding an explanation.

In this week’s episode we find Anakin out in the cold for Christmas. Beeker, having had enough of his shenanigans, has moved out and got a roommate. She found a bird of a feather who shares her love of preening and sitting on eggs. While sitting around the nesting box, talking smack about their exes, Beeker thinks she felt one of the eggs moving and suddenly wondered, could it be Anakin’s?!

We find Beeker lonely and bored, sitting on her three little bundles of calcium. She wonders if she overreacted to Anakin’s escapades. She also realizes she’s been sitting there all day and reallllly needs to relieve herself. She scurries off to drop a plop and looks up to see Anakin sitting across the coop, looking very dejected. Beeker rushes back to her precious bundles, hoping Anakin didn’t notice her leaving a stinky blob. Beeker wiggles herself back on her eggs, but just can’t get Anakin out of her head.

Hatch day finally arrives, only two out of three, but both are adorable. As we tune in to the season finale of ATWT, we find Beeker coddling her new hatches. The joys of motherhood fill her heart but there is still an empty spot. As she looks at her little ones, she can’t help but notice they have Anakin’s eyes. Suddenly there’s a peck at the coop door. Beeker looks out to see Anakin looking as handsome as ever. She realizes that none of those other Henny Pennys matter. It’s obvious she’s the worm in his apple. With a cock-a doodle-doo, Anakin takes off to find some juicy mealworms for the new family.

Many thanks to Susan Slednem for documenting the melodrama of her flock. I tried to get her to pen a few more episodes, but unfortunately she’s busy with work. She did leave me a teaser with the following note “It was just the season finale, so anything is possible.” If you’re like me, and would like to follow the enduring love story between Beeker and Anakin leave a comment and I’ll make sure to pass them on to Susan.

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