Project Chenoweth, Interim Progress Report

First, a bit of background

Project initiation, January, 2003:

The review committee was already seated round a semicircular table when I came into the room. I hopped onto my perch, settled my feathers, and prepared to face the music.

"Evilrooster. Hello." The greying man sat like the keystone in the arch of my interrogators.

Must remain calm. I let my gaze start with him, then sweep back and forth across the entire panel. "Hello, gentlemen." Some nod, some don't.

I can see the chairman mentally tick off "social preliminaries" from his unwritten agenda, and brace myself. It's publish or perish in the barnyard, and these guys will decide which.

"We have read your account of Project Beowulf, It is intriguing, to say the least. You claim to have crossbred a pig and a chicken, yes? With the chicken as the mother, despite its claims to be a rooster? And your experiment produced..."

"A rabbit."

"Just so. A rabbit. And you have the documentary evidence for all this."

"Yes. Birth certificates, marriage certificate, Consular Report of Birth. It's all in the paper."

"Mmm-hm. So I see." He does not open the copy of my paper, lying on the table in front of him. I can see the creases along the spine, and know he has already been through it.

The combined gaze of the review committee is starting to unnerve me. I try to seem unruffled, watching them back. Then something snaps inside me - my nerve breaks, perhaps, and I find myself blurting out, "What do you think?"

"Well, evilrooster, we think it is a well-written exposition of the experiment. Our only concern..." He seems nonplussed, and glances round the committee for a moment before continuing. "Well, the results are so extraordinary. I mean a pig and a chicken. A rabbit!" He shakes his head. "I'm worried that it's another cold fusion. I think we all are. That's the one thing your paper doesn't touch on."

"Cold fusion?" An odd way to put it...the "fusion" that produced the EasterBunny was not exactly, um, cold. Or did he mean physics? I hadn't planned for physics questions. How does cold fusion relate to barnyard crossbreeding?



"We would like so see some evidence of repeatability. What if you bred again? Do you think you'd get another rabbit?"

Does he know what he's asking? Still, the rule on the farm is that you're in the periodical or you're in the pot. "You want me to repeat the experiment. Breed them again."


Interim progress report, 21 July 2003:

Well, I'm pregnant.

We went to the hospital this morning for the "booking appointment", a one-stop shop where the nurses and midwives get to peer inside me, interrogate me, and take samples of bodily fluids for later analysis. The EasterBunny was particularly intrigued to see the baby in mama's tummy (he waved eh-oh when it moved its hand randomly). Scans of the scan will be on our website soon.

Chenoweth (a family name, probably destined to become the middle name when the baby is born) has a head 23mm wide, meaning that it is about 13 weeks and two days old (my calculations put it at 13 weeks and one day). Due date is therefore January 24, 2004. This means, of course, that that is the one day when it is guaranteed not to be born.

No information on gender, or for that matter, species.