The Phoenix and Its Chicken

CHARACTERS

The Father
The Mother

Their friends:

The Man
The Woman

And:

Tina

The Doctor
The Nurse

SETTINGS

Hospital
Man’s and Woman’s living room
Parents’ home
Baths

Scene 1

The Father and Mother are pacing nervously up and down the hospital corridor. Tina enters, immaculately dressed in a sharp business suit.

TINA
There you are.

MOTHER
At last.

FATHER
What’s the news?

TINA
I’m assuming you’re the parents.

MOTHER
You know our boy?

TINA
Not personally.

MOTHER
Oh.

FATHER
Are you a doctor?

TINA
I’m a banker.

FATHER
How can we help?

TINA
I need to ask a few questions. Please answer with precision.

FATHER
Is it a survey?

TINA
Was he drunk?

MOTHER
I beg your pardon?

TINA
Your son. When they brought him here. Was he drunk?

FATHER
I haven’t a clue.

MOTHER
They’re not letting us see him.

TINA
You didn’t ask if he was drunk?

FATHER
Well, we did but…

MOTHER
They’ve been ignoring us.

TINA
Leave it to me.

Tina opens her bag and takes out her filofax and a pen to jot down the parents’ answers to her questions.

TINA
Would you say he was a heavy drinker?

FATHER
Well, he liked the occasional…

TINA
Was he often drunk?

FATHER
I wouldn’t know.

TINA
When was the last time he was plastered?

FATHER
[to Mother] When was it?

MOTHER
New Year’s Eve I think. He and the boys.

TINA
Is there a history of drug abuse?

MOTHER
God forbid.

TINA
Short-sightedness?

FATHER
A slight blurring in the right eye, that’s all.

TINA
So he wore glasses then?

FATHER
No.

TINA
Why not?

MOTHER
He just didn’t.

TINA
I’m assuming he had a license?

FATHER
He’s just a kid.

TINA
Well, did he or didn’t he?

FATHER
What?

TINA
Have a license?

FATHER
I don’t know.

TINA
Brilliant.

MOTHER
Are you the police?

TINA
I’m a banker.

MOTHER
Oh.

FATHER
So why the questions?

TINA
Insurance.

FATHER
Whose insurance?

TINA
Mine, of course.

FATHER
I don’t understand.

TINA
You will when you see the state of my car.

MOTHER
Are you the one who did this to my boy?

The Mother is ready to pounce on her but the Father holds her back.

FATHER
Wait.

TINA
He’s the one who crashed into me. The back of my car is a total write-off. It’s a good thing I was wearing my seatbelt.

FATHER
Aren’t you just happy to be alive?

TINA
Wait ‘til you hear what the damage is.

MOTHER
My boy is at death’s door, and all you can talk about is money.

TINA
The two things are completely unrelated.

FATHER
So how much will you need to mend your bloody car?

TINA
Hold on a minute and I’ll tell you. [Referring to the sums she’s scribbled in her filofax] A thousand for the fender, eight hundred and fifty for the doors—eight hundred and fifty for the paint job, a hundred for each of the tyres, a thousand for the trunk, a hundred for each headlight. That’s a total of four thousand three hundred. Plus VAT.

The Father lets the Mother loose.

FATHER
Kill the bitch.

The Mother grabs Tina by the hair, they both start screaming.


Scene 2

The house of the Mother and Father’s bourgeois friends. They’re sitting across the table from each other, eating dinner.

WOMAN
At work today…

MAN
I’m in court tomorrow.

WOMAN
Guess who it ends up the boss is fucking?

MAN
It’s going to have to be an early start.

WOMAN
Me.

MAN
Dad talks shit.

WOMAN
But we broke it off yesterday.

MAN
Oh.

WOMAN
You know you needn’t be so afraid of him.

MAN
Afraid of who?

WOMAN
Your father.

MAN
What makes you say that?

WOMAN
You always do well in court.

MAN
How long ‘til the news?

WOMAN
I’m tired. After all these years.

MAN
What do you mean?

WOMAN
At work. I want something to help the time go by, I don’t know, I want…

MAN
The remote. Where’s the remote?

WOMAN
I don’t know.

MAN
Never mind.

WOMAN
You make so much money; why do I need to work?

MAN
You make so much money; why do I need to work?

The phone rings.

MAN
If it’s my dad, I’m not here.

WOMAN
Still not here.

MAN
Never here.

The Man takes his plate and sits in front of the TV.

WOMAN
[on the phone] There you are…where have you been? [and then quietly to the Man] It’s not him. [on the phone] The police station?… Why? What happened?… Is he hurt? Don’t worry, of course he’ll come and get you out. That’s what friends are for. Isn’t it? [to the Man] It’s for you.

MAN
What is it?

WOMAN
Their son’s been in a car accident. They got into a fight with some madwoman at the hospital, all hell broke loose, it made the local news, and now they’re at the police station.

MAN
Not again…

WOMAN
Looks like it.

MAN
Whose son? [He takes the phone.] Hello… [with forced concern] I’m sure he’ll pull through… Where exactly are you?… I’ll be right there. [He puts the phone down.]

The Man and Woman look at each other without talking.

WOMAN
Can I come too?

MAN
What for?

WOMAN
You never take me anywhere.

MAN
I don’t follow you to work do I?

WOMAN
Even I hate going there. I never want to go back. I want to find something else, something more…

MAN
More significant?

WOMAN
[desperate] Please, please, please.

MAN
What?

WOMAN
Please let me come. I’ll be as quiet as a mouse, it’ll be as if I’m not even there.

MAN
I don’t know.

WOMAN
It’ll be as if I’m not even there.

MAN
I don’t know.

WOMAN
As if I’m not even there.

Scene 3

The Doctor’s consulting rooms at the hospital. Part of the room is curtained off. The Doctor and the Nurse are behind the curtain.

NURSE
Just a little bit lower, yes, that’s good, that’s it, there.

DOCTOR
There?

NURSE
Just there.

DOCTOR
Where are the parents?

NURSE
Only his mother’s here. She’s in a right state.

DOCTOR
Was she a passenger on his bike?

NURSE
Judging from her appearance.

DOCTOR
Don’t move.

NURSE
Are you finished?

DOCTOR
Nearly there.

NURSE
Yes, come. Come. Now!

DOCTOR
There you go. I was holding back for you.

After a slight pause, the Doctor and the Nurse emerge from behind the curtain in a slightly dishevelled state.

NURSE
You took your time today.

DOCTOR
Is that a problem?

NURSE
The boy who was in the motorbike accident. His mother’s waiting to see you.

DOCTOR
Ah, yes, the boy.

The Doctor begins to rehearse what he’s about to tell the boy’s Mother.

DOCTOR
It’s a matter of time now… Not many hours left, I’m afraid… I’m in the unfortunate position of having to announce to you… How’s that?

NURSE
It’ll do.

DOCTOR
Ok then, well off you go and don’t forget, the boy’s room is strictly out of bounds.

NURSE
Even to his mother?

DOCTOR
Especially to her. Send her in.

The Nurse exits and approaches Tina, who is stroking some detached part of her car.

DOCTOR
[to himself] Fucking job.

The Nurse comes back accompanied by Tina who looks a mess with a bruised eye and her hand in bandages. The Nurse exits.

DOCTOR
Please. Have a seat… I’m in the unfortunate position of having to announce to you…

TINA
It’s bad, isn’t it?

DOCTOR
Yes, and I’m in the unfortunate position of having to announce to you that the situation is even worse than appearances might initially suggest.

TINA
Oh God, what’s the damage? Tell me.

DOCTOR
Damage?

TINA
How much is this whole thing going to cost me?

DOCTOR
With all due respect, there are more important issues at hand…

TINA
Such as?

DOCTOR
Well. But as I was saying, I’m in the unfortunate position of having to announce to you…

TINA
I made the purchase with money from my mother’s pension.

DOCTOR
The purchase? You say you made the purchase?

TINA
That’s what I said.

DOCTOR
Well I know times have changed but all the same… I find your terminology slightly offensive.

TINA
What else should I call it?

DOCTOR
So has it been long since you “made your purchase” as you put it?

TINA
Years. I had another one before it. A Japanese one.

DOCTOR
And what happened to that?

TINA
Kicked the bucket.

DOCTOR
What?

TINA
Sucked it dry. Really got it to work for me. Years of abuse. It’s understandable. Couldn’t cope.

DOCTOR
And they keep giving them to you? Just like that?

TINA
They are replaceable for God’s sake. If you’ve got the cash. Speaking of which…how much is the damage?

DOCTOR
My marriage is on the rocks because my wife can’t conceive…and you… You just sit there and… You’re a… You’re just a…

TINA
I’m a what?

DOCTOR
You’re just a… You’re just a…

TINA
Go on, say it.

DOCTOR
You’re just a…

The Doctor, who is unable to control himself, slaps Tina across the head. Tina screams.


Scene 4

The Woman arrives at the hospital. The Nurse has a deck of cards in front of her.

WOMAN
I’m here about the boy who was in the motorbike accident.

NURSE
Another one.

WOMAN
I came to give blood.

NURSE
[suddenly excited] Oh! You should have said. Is it just you or are there more coming?

WOMAN
It might be some time before the others get here. There’s some papers they need to sign before they’re allowed to leave the police station…

NURSE
The police station? Oh, well, doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad, just as long as they’ve got some blood in their veins. It’s all that counts. We need blood.

WOMAN
Anyway, for now they sent me along to give some of mine.

NURSE
You’re just in time. I’ve had enough of playing patience.

WOMAN
It’s always me who gets to do the dirty work. Not that I’m complaining. Gives you something to do; I’m bored stiff otherwise. I’ve been bored all day… I’ve been bored all week. At home I hide the clocks. Makes time pass faster.

NURSE
Shall we?

WOMAN
You know, I don’t really want to give blood. Is it painful?

NURSE
He was in a motorbike accident. What do you think?

WOMAN
I’ve never given blood before.

NURSE
Shame on you.

WOMAN
Don’t stain my dress. Blood stains.

NURSE
Off we go.

WOMAN
I faint at the sight of a needle.

The Nurse pushes the Woman into the surgery.

NURSE
So close your eyes.

Scene 5

The Father, the Mother, and the Man are in the hospital corridor. The Mother is holding a bag of apples. They all sit down. The Mother gives an apple each to the Father and the Man. The Man takes three knives out of his pocket, gives one each to the Father and the Mother and keeps one for himself. All three of them peel and eat their apples. The Doctor walks by.

FATHER
Have an apple.

DOCTOR
Thank you.

MAN
I’m afraid we don’t have a fourth knife.

MOTHER
I’ll peel it for you.

DOCTOR
It’s alright; I like the skin.

Scene 6

At the hospital. Tina is still dishevelled with both eyes bruised and a bandage on her arm. The Nurse is wrapping another bandage around her ear.

TINA
Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

NURSE
I’m busy.

TINA
What’s that supposed to mean?

NURSE
It means I have work to do.

TINA
Can’t you work and talk at the same time?

NURSE
It’s your bloody ear. Go on then.

TINA
It’s about the boy.

NURSE
You’re not his mother.

TINA
No, but he is the reason I’m here.

NURSE
What’s your blood type?

TINA
O Negative.

NURSE
Great!

The Nurse starts jumping for joy.

TINA
What’s up with you?

NURSE
Your blood type’s very rare. How often do you give blood?

TINA
Never.

NURSE
Shame on you. Let’s go.

TINA
Go where?

NURSE
You are going to give blood to save the boy, aren’t you?

TINA
What gave you that idea?

NURSE
What?

TINA
[she opens her filofax] I’m going to ask you a few questions. Please answer with precision.

NURSE
Your blood can save a lot of people from dying.

TINA
I couldn’t care less.

NURSE
One day you’ll be the one who needs it.

TINA
We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

NURSE
Your blood is O Negative and you’re telling me that you’re not planning to give me any.

TINA
That’s what I said. No way.

NURSE
No what?

TINA
No way. Read my lips: N.O. No.

NURSE
No?

TINA
No.

NURSE
You’re just a… You’re just a…

TINA
Here we go again.

NURSE
You’re just a… You’re just a…

TINA
I don’t think I’ll stay for the next part.

Tina makes a move to go but the Nurse grabs her by the hair, tackles her to the floor and begins to kick her legs ferociously. Tina tries in vain to defend herself, all the while screaming for help.


Scene 7

The Doctor’s consulting rooms.

DOCTOR
The situation is serious.

WOMAN
How bad is it?

DOCTOR
Broken hips, spine displacement, punctured lungs, fractured thigh bones, general abrasions, first degree burns on seventy percent of the skin surface.

WOMAN
Teeth?

DOCTOR
All gone.

WOMAN
That sounds bad.

DOCTOR
It is.

WOMAN
How will he chew?

DOCTOR
He won’t.

WOMAN
I see. Have you administered pain relief?

DOCTOR
Naturally.

WOMAN
Can’t you finish him off?

DOCTOR
It’s illegal.

WOMAN
There’s bound to be exceptions.

DOCTOR
We’ll see.

WOMAN
Perhaps your palm needs a little greasing.

DOCTOR
Perhaps you need a little greasing.

WOMAN
I prefer it without. Do you have children?

DOCTOR
No.

WOMAN
Neither do we.

DOCTOR
It’s a bit of an issue.

WOMAN
Not much of an issue.

DOCTOR
Which one of you is sterile?

WOMAN
It’s his father.

DOCTOR
In our case, it’s my wife who’s got the problem.

The Doctor takes the woman by the hand and leads her behind the screen.

WOMAN
All men say the same.

DOCTOR
In our case, I promise you it’s true.

WOMAN
Then don’t come inside me.

DOCTOR
I have condoms.

WOMAN
Who trusts condoms?

DOCTOR
Doctors do.

Scene 8

The Nurse is taking blood from the Mother. The Father has passed out.

MOTHER
It’s because they don’t get periods. They’re not used to it.

NURSE
Possibly.

MOTHER
Most men faint at the sight of blood.

NURSE
John Hague was an exception.

MOTHER
Who?

NURSE
John Hague, the London vampire.

MOTHER
Is that a book?

NURSE
No, it’s a true story. They hung him in 1969.

MOTHER
Never heard of him.

NURSE
One day he accidentally injured his right hand and the blood started flowing like a torrent.

MOTHER
Did he faint?

NURSE
He started to lick it.

MOTHER
Did he like it?

NURSE
He thought it was the real thing, life itself: warm, salty, sticky. It became a habit.

MOTHER
He drank his own blood?

NURSE
Mostly other peoples’. He butchered a dozen or so. The first time he sliced his victim’s throat with a penknife. He tried to drink the blood but it was hard to control the flow of it, spraying and gushing all over the place as it was, so he didn’t find it easy. He held his victim over the kitchen sink and tried to catch most of it with a glass but to no great effect.

MOTHER
Then what?

NURSE
Sucked it straight from the wound. Are you feeling all right?

MOTHER
Could I get a glass of water?

The Mother faints. The Father comes to.

FATHER
What’s wrong with her?

NURSE
[puzzled] She fainted.

FATHER
Women. Show them a drop of blood…

Scene 9

In the hospital corridor, the Man and Woman are eating chocolate bars and looking confused. Tina, who is still looking battered and bruised plus has a bandaged leg has taken a pocket-sized mirror out of her handbag and is applying some make-up to minimize the damage.

TINA
Are you visiting someone?

MAN
The child of a friend of ours.

TINA
Well it wouldn’t be your own would it?

WOMAN
I beg your pardon?

TINA
Couples who don’t have children look different. It’s in the faces.

WOMAN
What is?

MAN
What about you?

TINA
I’m not married if that’s what you’re asking but when I do get married the first thing I’ll do is have a child. Children bring happiness. Are you happy yourselves? As if… How could you be? I mean just look at you.

WOMAN
We are. Happy.

TINA
You don’t look it.

WOMAN
You see that in our faces too, do you?

TINA
Why not separate? Why put up with each other night after night? Look at her. Just take a look. How can you bear to have her near you? And you, yes you, how can you stand to have him in your bed?

WOMAN
Stop it.

TINA
It’s just that you’re scared of being on your own, isn’t it? Don’t be ashamed, everybody’s frightened of being lonely.

MAN
Don’t listen to her, she’s mad.

TINA
But you’re already lonely.

WOMAN
Stop it. Just stop it. You’re just a… You’re just a…

TINA
A what?

WOMAN
You’re just a…

TINA
I think I have to go now.

Tina makes a move to go but the Woman grabs her and begins to beat her. The Doctor walks by. Tina escapes the Woman’s grasp and runs towards him.

TINA
Help me Doctor!

The Doctor slaps her and the Man follows suit. Tina panics and runs to save herself.

WOMAN
Good riddance to her.

DOCTOR
If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.

The Doctor leaves.

WOMAN
Now what?

MAN
I don’t know.

WOMAN
Let’s play the newsflash game.

MAN
I’m bored.

WOMAN
Please. Please play it with me.

Both of them suddenly hold make-believe microphones in their hands.

WOMAN
Do you have a statement to make?

MAN
My client found herself the victim in a premeditated act of aggression, there was no course left open to her other than to defend herself. The woman you have just seen on your television screens was not in fact injured in the least, just heavily made-up to make it appear so. Disguising herself as the tragic victim of countless accidents, she roams hospital corridors preying on unsuspecting citizens. If you happen to see her please call your local police station immediately to report your sighting…

There is a deafening noise.

MAN
What’s that?

WOMAN
This is so much fun.

Scene 10

The Doctor’s consulting rooms. Tina is splayed out on the floor in a semi-conscious state. The Doctor and the Nurse are eating potato chips.

NURSE
She was run over by an ambulance.

DOCTOR
This woman is a walking accident.

NURSE
What shall I do with her?

DOCTOR
Wrap her up in bandages.

NURSE
Won’t you examine her?

DOCTOR
Don’t even want to look at her, let alone examine her.

NURSE
She’s a mess.

Scene 11

In the hospital corridor. The Man is sprawled out on one of the chairs taking a nap. The Woman and the Mother are sitting close by, smoking.

MOTHER
…In the mornings he’d walk around the house with nothing on and you know what boys are like at that age.

WOMAN
Hard-ons and all that?

MOTHER
I beg your pardon?

WOMAN
Would he have an erection? They usually do first thing in the morning.

MOTHER
I never really looked, but he might have had. I’d asked him a million times to wear his underwear on his way to the bathroom.

WOMAN
Why?

MOTHER
He never listened to me. Said he hated wearing briefs.

WOMAN
Tight briefs make men sterile. I read that somewhere.

The Man blinks.

MOTHER
I don’t know but I did buy him a dozen pairs of white boxer shorts and left them just outside his door.

WOMAN
Why didn’t you take them into the bedroom?

MOTHER
I’d never do that. Anyway it was all a waste of my time really.

WOMAN
He never wore them.

MOTHER
Oh no, he did wear them.

WOMAN
Waste of your time.

MOTHER
It’s just that…you’ll never guess what he did. He took out his camera, took a few pictures of his privates, made photocopies of them, took the photocopies to one of those shops, you know, where they transfer your favourite snapshot onto a T-shirt or something, and printed them on each of the pairs of boxers I’d bought him…

WOMAN
How poetic.

MOTHER
What?

WOMAN
Was he erect? In the pictures?

MOTHER
I don’t know. How would I know? [confidentially] I think in half of them he was.

Scene 12

In the doctor’s office.

FATHER
I would appreciate it if you made an exception.

DOCTOR
Go on.

FATHER
And allowed me to see my son. My wife wouldn’t be able to cope but I need to see him.

DOCTOR
Are you cheating on her?

FATHER
…?

DOCTOR
Are you fucking around? You can tell me, I’m a doctor.

FATHER
Em…no. Not often.

DOCTOR
Hmmm…

FATHER
What?

The Doctor becomes pensive.

FATHER
Is it serious?

DOCTOR
When was the last time?

FATHER
About a year ago.

DOCTOR
Who with?

FATHER
A colleague at work.

DOCTOR
Any good?

FATHER
She was all right.

DOCTOR
But what?

FATHER
I regretted it.

DOCTOR
Why?

FATHER
I don’t know; I often regret things.

DOCTOR
I enjoy a bit of variety myself.

FATHER
You ought to take precautions.

DOCTOR
Oh, I do.

FATHER
Why…?

DOCTOR
Why do I take precautions?

FATHER
Why isn’t your wife enough for you?

DOCTOR
I enjoy a bit of variety.

FATHER
Yes, naturally.

DOCTOR
Isn’t that natural?

FATHER
Naturally.

DOCTOR
Do you enjoy a bit of variety?

FATHER
It’s quality I appreciate.

DOCTOR
And variety.

FATHER
Naturally.

DOCTOR
And experimentation?

FATHER
It’s all right.

DOCTOR
Experimentation isn’t a bad thing you know.

FATHER
Why do you say that?

DOCTOR
Otherwise things become a trifle tedious, don’t they?

FATHER
Naturally.

DOCTOR
Would you ever have sex with a man?

FATHER
NEVER.

DOCTOR
Have you given it much thought?

FATHER
I don’t think I have.

DOCTOR
Me neither.

FATHER
Naturally.

DOCTOR
Not even if it was the only way you could get to see your dying son?

FATHER
Not even then.

DOCTOR
Me neither.

FATHER
Naturally.

DOCTOR
Yes, naturally.

FATHER
Now, will you let me see my boy?

DOCTOR
Entry is strictly forbidden.

FATHER
I’ll get undressed.

DOCTOR
God forbid.

FATHER
Naturally.

Scene 13

The Nurse and the Man are chasing each other around the surgery.

MAN
You brought me here under false pretences.

NURSE
You’ll get what you want once you’ve given me some of your blood.

MAN
Anything? What are your conditions?

NURSE
[slyly] Tell me what you want.

Breathless, they stop chasing each other around the room.

MAN
Say for instance that there is someone I absolutely loathe, would you help me get rid of them?

NURSE
Who is it?

MAN
…My father.

NURSE
Your father.

MAN
Yes, maybe.

NURSE
Why?

MAN
Let’s say for the sake of it that he drives me up the fucking wall.

NURSE
I understand.

MAN
Do you really?

NURSE
Yes, really.

MAN
He’s messing with my head.

NURSE
Mine too.

MAN
My father?

NURSE
My husband.

MAN
We could suffocate them.

NURSE
Does he beat you?

MAN
He’s never satisfied.

NURSE
Neither is mine.

MAN
Does he belittle you?

NURSE
Continuously.

MAN
They’re all the same.

NURSE
That’s what I always say but we can’t live without them.

MAN
You’re depressing me.

NURSE
Is he any good in bed at least?

MAN
Is yours?

NURSE
[bitterly] Dynamite.

MAN
I don’t know about mine.

NURSE
Forgotten, have you?

MAN
He used to take me to an amusement park near where we lived. It was winter and he’d hold me by the hand. He’d let me have a go in the bumper cars.

NURSE
Would he get into the bumper car with you?

MAN
From time to time.

NURSE
Then what?

MAN
Then he’d laugh. I remember him laughing.

NURSE
When was this?

MAN
A long time ago. I think they’re the only happy memories I have of him.

NURSE
Did he die?

MAN
No.

NURSE
We’re soft so people step all over us. It’s our nature, you see.

MAN
[half question] Our nature.

Bios

Andreas Flourakis

Andreas Flourakis ( b. 1969) is a writer and instructor of playwriting. He participated in the Royal Court International Residency in 2001 and served as Visiting Professor in Playwriting at the University of Kansas during the course of his Fulbright Award in 2005. He has published three books of poems, two novels, and three plays. The Days Before You Came (2002), Faith–material (2002), and Her Leaves (Cultural Olympiad, 2003) have been produced in Greece by Theatre of the South. Faith was included as part of the 2002 Intercity Festival, Florence, and in 2003 his play Ice received special distinction in the one-act competition held by the Art Theatre, Athens. His play The Phoenix And Its Chicken was given a reading at the Gate Theatre, London (2003), at the Inge Theatre, Kansas (2005), and at the Frederick Loewe Theatre (2007) as part of hotINK festival in New York. A script-in-hand performance of his play, Atreides, was presented at the University of Kansas and at the closing of the 29th Comparative Drama Conference in Los Angeles (2005). Some of his plays are available for free downloading at www.costis.org/books, and he may be reached at aflourakis@yahoo.gr.

Alexi Kaye Campbell

Alexi Kaye Campbell has been an actor for many years, and has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television. He was commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre to translate Andreas Flourakis’ The Phoenix and Its Chicken from Greek into English, and it was performed as part of their International Playwrights Residency. The play then was given an additional reading at the Gate Theatre as part of a series of contemporary Greek plays. On the strength of Alexi's first play Death in Whitbridge, he has been invited to join the Hampstead Theatre Writer's Group. He may be reached at ac@alexicampbell.demon.co.uk.

The Phoenix and Its Chicken. Copyright (c) Andreas Flourakis, 2003. English translation copyright (c) Alexi Kaye Campbell, 2003.