An Australian chicken breeder, Mr McFowler, fails to win competitions with his prized chicken, Hector, mainly because Hector had a nose pecking habit and an inability to remain still when being judged. Mr McFowler was downcast as he felt Hector was the best bird he had ever bred and his greatest chance of winning Champion Bird of the Show.
Mr McFowler, of Scottish descent loves to play old Scottish songs in his shed and sometimes dance to them. One day Hector starts dancing with him to his records. Mr McFowler sees an opportunity and he and Hector train the other chickens to become Highland Dancers. Mr McFowler is a resourceful man and makes things to aid with training. He dusts off his bagpipes and provides the music for the troupe.
It was a difficult task for Hector to mould the sometimes-reluctant individual chickens into a precision team. He eventually succeeds and they perform at local agricultural shows, the the Sydney Royal and finally get an invitation to perform at the famous Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland, where they woo audiences with their amazing precision performance. They are feted and Mr McFowler is very proud that his prized chicken, which failed to become a champion show bird, was now a champion leader of a successful highland dance troupe. Mr McFowler, a romantically naïve bachelor, even makes a surprising romantic connection!
Anthony Sevil is a writer, sculptor and photographer with an intimate appreciation of rural Australia. He grew up on the plains of North West NSW and now lives on a small farm in rural New England, Australia. Upon graduating in economics from the University of New England and working in market research, Anthony then spent three years on a working holiday in Europe and Africa. His working life has been varied, involving economic research, public relations, sales, farming, laboring, and being a care worker for people with intellectual disabilities. However, he always found time to dip into the creative world. Anthony has had non-fiction stories and photographs published in newspapers and magazines. He has also been a regular exhibitor of his sculptures. Recently, he won the New England Award in the Thunderbolt Crime Writing Competition, and his story was included in Melbourne Books’ Award-Winning Australian Writing.
Amy Calautti loved to draw from a young age and often made up games based around drawing to entertain her younger brother and cousins. Amy now lives with her small tribe of humans who inspire her every day.