Friday, June 02, 2006

Amazing discovery of an unpublished GKC essay

This was something I had meant to post back when we were discussing the chicken/road thing.

Some little time ago, the following fragment was discovered - I only have the electronic form, and I have never seen the paper original (if there ever was a paper original!)

So you will have to take any claim to authenticity cum grano salsa as the Latinists say...

--Dr. Thursday
"Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?"
An answer by G. K. Chesterton.

Just the other day, as I was riding somewhere in a hansom cab, I saw a chicken cross a road. It reminded me that I had the confounded botheration of having to write this article, and so, since I had nothing in my pockets, and nothing to read, I decided to write about the chicken.

The chicken is a homely and common bird, though Swinburne I think compares it to the ostrich. Speaking of birds, I remember that I always wanted to eat peacock pie; I thought it would be full of gorgeous colors, like the feathers. But where the peacock is proud, the chicken is humble. The chicken is humble enough for any man to eat. And let us not forget how this fowl once had its moment in the light: when its call made Peter weep in the night.

The chicken is the feast-day meal of the common man: it is not too much to ask that he have his chicken and eat it too. The road was surely a Roman Road, as so many roads in England are. But in crossing the road the chicken performed an act not unknown even this world of heretics, an act easily identified as one of orthodoxy. It is as though the chicken scrawled in the dust of that Roman road an ancient symbol - the symbol with which Godfrey challenged the gates of Jerusalem - the symbol of the cross, standing erect against all the chimney-pots and telegraph-posts of civilisation. ...


At 03 June, 2006 19:44, Blogger Nancy C. Brown said...

Very good.
I hope we see more of these lost essays...

At 04 June, 2006 03:36, Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


Nice! I like it too. :)


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