I remember reading this story a year or so ago from an archive from the internet, but I don't know who wrote it or when it was published.

The premise of the story was that these chickens in a crate fell off the back of a truck onto the side of a highway. The chickens can't cross the highway without getting run over and dying, so they stop doing that. Eventually they breed and natural selection results in them getting smarter and smarter.
They ended up developing some complicated myths about what was on the other side, and I think that eventually they get smart enough to build complex machinery and cross to the other side.

A pretty weird story.


1 Answer 1


This is Hollywood Chickens by the late Sir Terry Pratchett.

Preserved for posterity in the book of collected writings A Blink of the Screen, this tale is Terry Pratchett's attempt to explain to the world exactly how the chickens crossed the road. The road in question is a mega-highway in California somewhere in the Greater Los Angeles Conurbation. Based on a true story about the survivors of a lorry crash involving a farm wagon full of poultry, which not only escaped death but established a thriving colony on the central reservation of a US interstate highway (ie, free from all predators), this tale even offers an existential answer to the question of why the chickens sought to cross the road. Accelerated evolution has something to do with it.

  • 2
    What's kinda funny here is there are no "lorries" in Los Angeles, but there are always tons of "trucks". And there's no room for a "central reservation" on a "freeway" because that's there the "median" is! Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 13:58
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox - At least he didn't call it a motorway
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 14:10

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