The Right To Protest #writephoto

Bit late this week, but this prompt led to this contemporary piece

The Right To Protest

‘What do you think you’re doing sonny?’ Constable Jimmy Strength crouched down to the same height as the chicken. ‘You one of those road crosser protesters?’

The chicken gave him the side-eye; which wasn’t really a surprise; its what chickens do. ‘And?’

‘Not a good day to choose, hen.’ PC Jimmy Shelter, proud Geordie who’d failed to attend his EDI training again checked every which way.

‘It’s cock to you?’

‘No need to be rude.’

‘And you could be a bit more sensitive to my choice of gender. Hen, indeed. Anyway, it’s my name.’

PC Strength stood, his knees mimicking an empty crisp packet being crushed. ‘Look, cock, you can’t cross. Not today.’

Cock fluffed his feathers. ‘Why? You worried I’ll leave footprints on the sand?’

‘No, it’s not that. It’s just we can’t have you halfway across the road and some carriage crushes you. Not a good look.’

‘Too right. All that bleating about the right to protest and first chance we get to cross a road in front of the world’s press and you squash the protester. Hardly the sort of image a modern, all inclusive democracy wants to portray.’

‘Look, my old cock…’

‘It’s Mr A’doodle-do to you, matey.’

‘None of us give a flying feather if you cross, spin a cartwheel or sing Verdi’s Requiem, you can’t cross here, today.’


‘Because it’s the Coronation and his Maj will be past any moment.’

‘Exactly. Puts me in the spotlight, gets my message out about the need for safe spaces for chickens to cross roads…’

‘His Maj is happy for you to promote road safety for all fowl. Except today.’

‘Again why?’


‘You what?’

‘His Royal Personage has signed a deal with the streaming service. One of the conditions is that he’ll only promote his Coronation Quiche until his cookery episode is broadcast. Can’t have his biggest day and all their rivals crowing about a Coronation Chicken taking part in the ceremony, especially if his carriage splattered you all over the Mall. Be a rather visceral way to show his contempt for his mother’s choice of coronation nosh.’

Cock A’doodle-do tilted his head to one side. ‘You telling me that if I was a goose or swan or, god forbid a duck and you’d let me cross?’


‘Right. Well, I’m self identifying as a guinea fowl. You can’t stop me now.’

‘What do you think, Jimmy?’

‘He’s got a point.’

‘Bit bird brained.’

‘Within his rights, though.’

‘All right. Off you trot.’

‘Oh that’s nice. I was just thinking better about our Metropolitan’s finest and there you go, displaying your institutional bias towards pigs. I strut, I don’t trot.’

‘Are you going to cross the bloody road?’

‘No, I don’t think I am.’

PC Jimmy Strength and PC Jimmy Shelter turned away. As they headed for the Abbey, Jimmy One said, ‘That’s the trouble with birds. Can’t make up their mind.’

Jimmy Two shook his head. ‘You can’t say that, Jimmy. It’s sexist.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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13 Responses to The Right To Protest #writephoto

  1. Sadje says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. A feather in your cap for this one, you must be cock a hoop! (I fully expected a splat at the end!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hilarious, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    I knew somehow you’d work the coronation in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Have you heard the one about the chicken and the police? ….well you have now! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  6. olganm says:

    I love this, Geoff! Absolutely fabulous and so… current! Thanks for making my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. V.M.Sang says:

    A great one, Geoff. Love it. And so topical.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anne Goodwin says:

    Now what does this remind me of?

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.