“One morning somebody put a chocolate chicken in the birdbath.”

 

If you’ve ever wondered what else rabbits do at Easter, Rosemary Wells has an answer: Max’s Chocolate Chicken.

If you never have, think about the sentence itself. It sounds like the beginning of an everyday story, almost a “once-upon-a-time” fairy tale. But what other narratives have begun like this–matter-of-fact, yet unexpected? Orwell’s 1984 and Kafka’s Metamorphosis are two that spring to mind, both as surprising as the chocolate chicken in the birdbath. Then there’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Ha Jin’s Waiting; even Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Where else, when you come right down to it, would a chocolatey bird be?

Spoiler alert: on the book’s final page, the beribboned chicken is replaced by a duck. Read it at your local library, or visit LeDoux’s seasonal display through April. 

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