The Handyman And His Chicken


5 Years
Aug 4, 2018
HRM, Nova Scotia, Canada
I'm posting the following transcript of an audio recording I've had for a long time for several reasons. One is to simply preserve the story because the CASSETTE TAPE it's on can't possibly last much longer. Another is my hope that someone will recognize it and be able to tell me who the recording artist was so I can credit him...the tape was sent to me by someone who I've sadly lost touch with, but they lived in Colorado, if that helps, and I think it came off a parody album that was meant to poke fun at the sorts of children's records that were popular at the time. Lastly, I'm posting this just for fun. Imagine an effusively, almost obnoxiously cheerful guy reading it aloud and enjoy!


Okay, boys and girls, how’d you like to hear a story? … Well, all right, I’ll do it anyway.

Once upon a time, there lived a man who built a house. He did everything. He hammered the floors, nailed the drywall, levelled the walls, put the roof on, finishing the trimwork…everything. He was proud of his little house because not only did he build it all by himself, he even layed his own plumbing, installed all the sinks and toilets and bathtub as well as putting in the electricity. He had to be veeerrry careful because electricity was a serious thing. It could shock or electrocute you if you weren’t careful with it. It wasn’t anything like hammering nails or carrying two by fours.

He was a very busy man, so busy that he had no time for any friends. He never married, had a wife, a family, or little boys and girls. But this man had a chicken. The chicken’s name was Rover and this man loved his chicken. On cold winter nights, he’d sit around by the fireside in his big rocking chair with the chicken sprawled out on the hook rug beside him. He would read his newspaper, drink hot coffee and think about his life. He was very happy except for one thing. Every once in a while he’d get lonely. Rover, the chicken, was a good friend but his conversations were limited.

“What a day I had,” the man would remark.

“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck,” the chicken would say.

“Sure is cold this winter. I wish the weather would warm up soon,” the man would say.

“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck,” the chicken would answer.

“Sure rains a lot here,” the man would say…

After many years, the man got tired of the chicken’s limited conversations. He began coming home late from work and putting little bits of whisky in his coffee. One night, after a very long and tiring day at work, the man came home and went straight to bed. It had been a very tiring day for him and he needed to sleep. The chicken was on his usual resting spot on the rug when all of a sudden, sparks began to fly out of the kitchen! The chicken ran into the kitchen to see what was the matter and lo! Fire was coming from one of the faulty electrical outlets the man had put in.

The chicken was frantic! Feathers were flying everywhere. He ran upstairs to get the man.

“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck!”


“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck!”

“Say it slowly.”


The man couldn’t understand a word of the chicken’s garbled talk. He rolled over and went back to sleep.

The chicken was frantic! He ran downstairs and called the fire department.

“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck! Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck!”

“Hey, Joe, it’s for you!”

“Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck—“

“Ah, just another prank caller.”

Well! As you can imagine, the man’s house burned down. The man, luckily, was able to survive by climbing out of his bedroom window, and thanks to an insurance policy he had thoughtfully taken out the week before, was able to eventually buy a condominium in Florida.

The end of this tale is sad, but true, and now I will have to tell it to you. Though it might frighten, distress and sicken, the man went home and had fried chicken.

The moral of this story—and remember, boys and girls—if you ever build your own house, get a licensed electrician to put in your electrical outlets.
I have created an account on this website, which I have never heard of before, for the sole purpose of answering this one question, which was posted a year ago but has not yet been answered.

The track is called "The Man and the Chicken". It is by Barry Louis Polisar, from his children's album "Naughty Songs For Boys and Girls". It's not really a parody, but it is demonstrative of the irreverent humor he puts into his children's songs.

You can easily find it by searching for it on YouTube, but here is a link:

For the record, this post is the only result when you search Google for "the chicken was frantic", which is of course a line from the story.

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