Alas poor Pompadour the wondrous Chinese Silkie chicken has passed to chook heaven.

In memoriam I will share a few highlights of her career in showbiz.

RIP Pompadour – You Rock!

Ten Chinese Silkie chickens took up residence in the Bryden household (Frog Lodge, Australia) on the 8th December 2008.

Five hens and five roosters. The roosters (unwanted in suburbia and expelled by Council regulations) found another home with a lovely couple with a  farm – two men with a soft spot for strays and the unwanted. The roosters were not for the pot and are probably still prancing around and waking up every living creature for miles around at the crack of dawn.

One of the five hens was Pompadour and my regular readers knew and loved her well.

A baby Pompadour

Here is a recap of the tale of the Chinese Silkie chook fan club (with Pompadour taking the lead – well she was the lead singer as a rock chick) that has members all around the globe ;).

‘The enigmatic Brisbane-based poet Paul Squires (of Gingatao and Puzzle Box infamy) started this chook veneration trend with his poemGabrielle Bryden listening to Oscar-Peterson’.

Then artist Benedicte Delachanel of the blog Carnet des dessins drew the most amazing pictures of my two finest hens – Pompadour (the silkie with the best pom pom) and Snowy (the pure white hen). Here is a copy of the lovely creation by this talented artist.

Fellow blogger and artist extraordinaire Aletha Kuschan was slightly distressed to discover that her hamsters were being treated with discrimination, possibly because they are bouffant challenged, and that no poetry was being written about the little munchkins. Her poetic response to Mr Squires is worthy of note:

I am so jealous. I know about the difference between Anne Sophie Mutter’s carefully choreographed swaying and Didier Lockwood’s exuberant playing! Can I help it that I have ten hamsters? Okay, the chickens are very fine chinoiserie, and hamsters are not so poetic, but I’m not asking for a sonnet or anything, but maybe just a couple of couplets in iambic pentameter?’

There was a happy ending to that stage of the story with Benedicte drawing the adorable hamsters and Aletha herself drawing a beautiful picture of Blanca (the hamster with the mostest) and wrote a limerick about the beautiful beasty.

But it didn’t end there. Alec Patric joined in the poetic and artistic roundabout:

‘Well, here’s another poem dedicated to your fabulous chickens Gabrielle.

A Clucky Muse
A.S. Patric

The kind of chicken
that only takes seed from my hand
runs sentences headless, bodiless into words
flutters into pecked poems, roosts in hen-house heads
flying just high enough for the majestic taste of flight’

Pompadour’s story was also highlighted in my psychological memoirs 😉 (Chook-Induced Anxiety CIA; and CIA the Sequel), the first of which was broadcast on local ABC radio (which reminds me, I better tell them the bad news).

Her sometimes aggressive (but understandable, given her outstanding pedigree) pecking order behaviour was highlighted in two youtube videos (6,000 hits and counting). Ridiculous really – I only got over 300 hits for my poetry reading on youtube – hahaha – outdone by a chicken!

Finally, the pompous Pompadour with the pom pom is having a children’s series written about her (and her mate Blanca – who sadly is also deceased) by moi and illustrated by Benedicte (what a spoilt chook).


Pompadour and Blanca: The Beauty Salon (Illustration by Benedicte Delachanal)

That’s a good life for a chicken 🙂 so we won’t be sad.

We’ll crack open the champagne to chicken fame and fortune.

Here’s to you Pomapadour.